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2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season
| Alberto | Beryl | Chris | Debby | Ernesto | Florence | Gordon | Helene | Isaac | Joyce |

The heart of the Caribbean Hurricane Network are the personal reports send in by the special hurricane correspondents on the islands. Find out whathappened on your favority island during the 2012 Hurricane Season by following the links below.

  - Antigua [Apr 15 17:13]
- Anguilla [Apr 15 6:14]
- Jamaica [Apr 14 12:05]
- Saba [Apr 3 6:05]
- Bonaire [Apr 2 9:51]
- Dominica [Apr 2 9:39]
- St.Maarten/St.Martin [Mar 31 9:05]
- Culebra (PR) [Mar 30 6:41]
- Trinidad & Tobago [Mar 29 15:12]
- Dominican Republic [Mar 28 22:11]
- Tortola & Virgin Gorda [Mar 22 13:49]
- Nevis [Mar 20 17:36]
- Barbados [Mar 19 10:11]
- Curaçao [Jan 11 8:06]
- Grenada [Dec 31 7:13]
- St.Lucia [Dec 11 15:05]
- Margarita Is., Venezuela [Dec 9 11:26]
- St.Croix [Nov 30 22:31]
- Bahamas [Oct 31 17:52]
- Florida Keys [Oct 31 17:48]
- St.Thomas [Oct 29 1:00]
- Bermuda [Oct 28 22:52]
- Puerto Rico [Oct 28 14:00]
- Haiti [Oct 25 22:30]
- Turks & Caicos [Oct 25 17:11]
- St.Vincent & Grenadines [Oct 20 9:21]
- St.Kitts [Oct 16 23:22]
- Montserrat [Oct 16 20:10]
- St.John [Oct 15 7:31]
- Guadeloupe [Oct 14 6:31]
- Cayman Islands [Sep 6 13:13]
- Vieques (PR) [Aug 25 0:28]
- Aruba [Aug 24 7:36]
- Martinique [Aug 22 8:03]
- Belize [Aug 9 9:50]
- Mexico (incl. Cozumel & Cancun) [Aug 9 1:00]
- Honduras [Aug 7 1:00]

Following is an archive of all weather discussions Dave and I posted. They are in reverse chronological order, with the most recent storm discussion on top. If you want more background in formation on specific storms, I have found the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season section in the Wikipedia a great resource. Also, visit the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Lab for 'best track' data of all 2012 storms. The track map below is from that website as well.

- - 2012 Hurricane Tracks - -

- - Source: NOAA/AOML Hurricane Research Division (click on image for larger size) - -

- - - 2012 Season - - -
For the latest hurricane statements and satellite images see our Quick Hurricane Web Resource Navigator
Tools: How Close is it? - How close can it get? - My Satellite

Weather discussions by Gert & Dave during the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season. The homepage with the links to local reports from the islands, latest satellite image, current weather outlook can be found here.

Monday, December 24, 2012 10:53AM EST - Christmas

Good morning,
I would like to take this moment and wish all of you here in the Stormcarib family and those visiting, a wonderful, safe and happy Holiday Season and a special Caribbean Merry Christmas!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 19:35PM EST - Quiet Holiday

Good evening,

The official end of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season is upon us; a mere 9 days away. However, that doesn't mean we can't see another storm spin up somewhere and if it does, it will probably be in the SW Caribbean or off the coast of Florida. With two names left I can see a Valerie possibility still but reaching William might be a rough go. Water temps are still plenty warm enough but wind shear has been ferocious the last few weeks tearing everything apart even thinking of organizing. If this shear hadn't kicked up when it did, we would probably need a Greek alphabet name by now!

The shear hasn't helped us receive much rain either but hopefully that will change before the "dry" season starts after the holidays. We need full cisterns heading into that!

I would like to wish all those who celebrate Thanksgiving Day have a happy and safe Thanksgiving and remember we have alot to be thankful for. If you do not celebrate this totally American holiday, have safe and happy holidays that are ahead!


Sunday, November 4, 2012 15:13PM PST - Haiti needs help!
As Isabel from St.Croix recommended, check out Jeff Master's blog (Wunderground) where he writes the following about the dire situation in Haiti:
     Sandy's greatest devastation occurred in Haiti, where rains of
     up to 20 inches in 24 hours unleashed rampaging flood waters
     that killed at least 54, left 200,000 homeless, wiped out
     thousand of acres of crops, and killed massive numbers of
     livestock. For impoverished families in Haiti still struggling
     to recover from the earthquake in 2010 and Hurricane Isaac in
     August, Sandy was devastating. These crops are the very
     essence of rural Haitian's livelihoods, and there are fears
     widespread starvation will result. A disaster relief charity
     in Haiti that I've contributed to for many years, The Lambi
     Fund of Haiti, is seeking donations to help farmers purchase
     local seeds so that they can replant their crops in the wake
     of this latest terrible Haitian catastrophe.

I just donated as well, hope you can too! Another one I have donated to in the past is Fonkoze, a micro-finanance institution offering 'micro loans' to Haitian farmers for example. Thanks, Gert

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 08:37AM EDT - Breather

Good morning all!
Superstorm Sandy, a/k/a Frankenstorm, is not dead yet with advisories still being issued as she plays trick or treat with the Great Lakes, notable Cleveland, Ohio and Lake Erie. With a 946 mb classification at landfall, this would have been a category 3, maybe 4 here in the Caribbean. In New Jersey and New York, it was a post tropical storm with no classification of category. The National Hurricane Center had already handed over the forecasting and tracking to the National Weather Service because Sandy became post tropical. The insurance companies are gonna use that to put the screws to many, many homeowners.
Lets not forget also that when Sandy was tropical, she visited Jamaica, Cuba, and the Bahamas directly and The Turks and Caicos, Haiti and the Dominican Republic indirectly. By indirectly, I mean her eyewall did not make landfall there. Nevertheless, Sandy killed over 70 people in these areas including one in Puerto Rico and left flooding, wind damage, and extensive crop loss, especially to southern Haiti where any loss is severely magnified and compounding.
Back home, we are in breather mode with nothing seriously tropical in nature to report, except for some high surf leftovers courtesy of Sandy, with 4 weeks left in the 2012 hurricane season, officially. South of the VI, we have a line of showers and a small blobette of thiunderstorms but no development will happen there. Off to the immediate east was a disturbance a few days ago with merit to produce some much needed rain but it did a Houdini and poofed! It disappeared leaving basically nothing. Drier air is now expected to move in for the next few days. 
There is a new wave which has emerged off the African coast which also has merit although not in the short term. Development, if any, would occur much closer to the islands and/or into the Caribbean Sea as we have seen by the trail blazed by Sandy earlier. No models show development for the time being but still it should be monitored. I don't know about you but a couple of days of steady light rain would be most welcome. I have some friends who come down from the Chicago area every year about this time and it always rains at least a few days when they are here. Hint! Hint!

Saturday, October 27, 2012 01:01AM EDT - Frankenstorm Philosophy 2012

Good evening,

All eyes, ears, noses, and feet are grilled to the events which are about to unfold in the northeast as Hurricane Sandy meets up with low pressure Danny and the rest of the Grease troupe somewhere around northern New Jersey as forecast for the moment but could land anywhere from northern Virginia to southern Maine. Regardless, the effects will be so widespread this is one will be one talked about way past all of our lifetimes. Having already caused the deaths of 41 so far, it is highly likely and very unfortunate the toll will rise and damage estimates are already talking 1.5 billion dollars. In addition, this will have far reaching affects hundreds of miles inland. I really hope and pray all of those in the NE really take this seriously as historically, they usually do not.

I normally do not post what someone else writes but this time, it's pertinent, its serious, to the point, and by an expert. Please read. This is by Brian Norcross just about an hour ago and explains it way better than I ever could have:

It's one of the ugliest looking hurricanes you'll see, but Hurricane Hunters and satellite measurements confirm that its still tropical enough to be a hurricane... and its on track to cause a pile of trouble.

Two atmospheric processes are counteracting each other at the moment. Strong upper winds are trying to tear the storm apart, but a split in the upper flow is causing, essentially, a strong suction from above which is helping the storm keep going. This situation will likely result in some weakening... which would mean Sandy would drop below hurricane strength. But then the polar jet stream takes over and re-energizes the storm increasing the winds and growing the size. A sharp dip in the jet stream will pick up the reinvigorated Sandy and swing it toward the East Coast. At least that's the plan.

There are some ifs and maybes in that scenario, but the best computer forecast models independently insist that this is what's going to happen... and the not-so-reliable ones say the same thing. So, beginning immediately, it comes down to figuring out how to deal with it.

The ocean will rise along the coast as Sandy makes it's way north, but the biggest coastal problems will come when the center makes landfall. We're unlikely to know exactly where that will be until Monday, but this is critical. The ocean will be pushed toward the coast north of that point and away to the south. The onshore flow of water is exaggerated where bays, inlets, or the shape of the coastline focus the water to make it rise even higher. The most prominent problem spot is New York City, where Long Island and New Jersey make an "L".

Raritan Bay and New York Bay and the south end of Manhattan are especially susceptible to rising water if the center of Sandy comes ashore in New Jersey or south. Much as we saw in Irene, it is potentially a monstrous problem due to the threat to NYC infrastructure and transportation. There are tough decisions ahead for the Mayor and his people.

Right now, the odds favor that southern track. The threat from this situation is serious as a heart attack for anybody near the rising water.

Then there's the wind which is expected to be MUCH higher than Irene at the skyscraper level. The city will also have to be thinking about the threat to people in tall buildings.

The winds... expected to be at or near hurricane strength at landfall... will spread inland for hundreds of miles either side of the storm center. It's hard to imagine how millions of people are not going to be without power for an extended period of time.

Widespread rainfall of 3 to 7 inches with some places getting a foot or more will cause extremely dangerous flash flooding.

And then there's the snow. Heavy wet snow is forecast for the mountains of West Virginia and southwest Pennsylvania, mixed with rain at the lower elevations.

The winds will increase Sunday night in the Tidewater of Virginia and spread north through the day on Monday. The best guess right now is that the peak winds will come in overnight Monday night... near high tide and under a full, flooding moon. A triple whammy.

Let me think, what other disastrous thing might happen. It's storm overload, I know... and nobody likes to think about these kinds of things. Nothing here is certain, of course, just becoming more likely with every new piece of data. But one thing is for sure... it this all happens as forecast, and you and your family are stuck in the cold and dark without food and light and communications because you didn't run to the store and get ready... excuses are going to spectacularly hard to come by.

I have to agree!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012 14:20PM EDT - Sandy and The Spawn of the Perfect Storm

Good afternoon,

I am currently "under the weather" at home hence my lack of posts the last 36 hours.

Cat 1 hurricane Sandy is just about to make landfall over the southeastern tip of Jamaica where Montego Bay has already sustained some heavy damage in spots and Kingston is about to experience the eye in the next few hours with Sandy a mere 30 miles south. Hurricane warnings are up for obviously Jamaica and the half east of Cuba. Numerous other watches and warnings are also posted including a TS watch for the lower east coast of Florida where Miami and West Palm should see sustained 45 mph winds. See the Sandy tools section above for a complete listing.

Right now, a major blob of convection is headed from the south towards the Dominican Republic and Santo Domingo among other cities will be in for a wild ride. The Turks and Caicos could be as well. Flooding will be a major concern there and in Haiti where the amounts of rainfall projected are 6-12 inched with isolated areas up to 20 inches. We can only hope Sandy picks up her speed and doesn't dwell too long. Many still live in makeshift tents and shanties and have not recovered from the severe earthquake a few years ago.

The Lesser Antilles have seen high level debris clouds but nothing in the way of rain or wind although we should see a little of both as Sandy passes well to our west and northwest. A more NE track would obviously subject western Puerto Rico to the possibility of flooding rains and some TS force winds but that is not expected. Hurricane force winds only stretch out 25 miles from the center with TS force winds out 140 miles. The eye is huge at 55 miles wide but should contract as Sandy regains some strength after crossing Jamaica.

Once out of the Caribbean and in the open Atlantic, a scenario could develop for the Northeast US mimicking the famous or infamous "Perfect Storm" of 1991. A collision between low pressure to the east, high pressure to the NW and then TS Sandy is a good possibility resulting in catastrophic coastal flooding, beach erosion, wind damage, massive power outages, and inland flooding. All of the NE states will be under the gun and it all depends on how far north Sandy strikes. Right now it is looking like southern Maine but it is too early to be precise. While Sandy could be taken farther out to sea as some other models suggest, it would be prudent to get ready now just in case. The damage would be in the billions if this plays out. Even though this is mainly a Caribbean weather site, I would be remiss in not mentioning what could happen there.

TS Tony is the Rodney Dangerfield of storms right now: he exists but is getting no respect! And he won't get any either as colder waters and wind shear should ensure his demise tomorrow or Friday while millions have their eyes on Sandy.

Hopefully, we will receive some beneficial, way outer bands of rain from Sandys passing here in the Virgin Islands. We could definitely use them. Maybe that weak wave to the east can help as well. Season still has 5 weeks to go and I look to see a few more storms form before all is said and done. We might even have a Greek alphabet name. Hopefully, all fish storms.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012 09:37AM PDT - Hurricane Sandy
Sandy is now a 80mph hurricane. It might get a little stronger before the center (now just 65 miles from Jamaica) reaches Jamaica. Conditions are deteriorating on Jamaica, see the local reports. The center is now expected to pass very close to Kingston at about 4PM today.

Its forecasted track is a little to the east. Hurricane warnings in effect for Jamaica, eastern Cuba. Tropical storm warning in effect for Haiti, the Central and Northwestern Bahamas. For more detail see the advisories. Also, don't forget to utilize stormCARIB's unique tools above, especially the closest point of approach calculator. Stay safe everyone! Don't do stupid things. -Gert

PS. I have changed the zoomed in Caribbean satellite image source from the NASA site to the NOAA site again since the NASA site is sometimes 2 hours behind, which is too much in this case...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012 08:44AM PDT - Hurricane Warning for Jamaica
Sandy (formerly Tropical Depression Eighteen or 99L), located just 300 miles south of Jamaica, has become a little stronger. It is expected to become a hurricane in 24 hours. Therefore a hurricane warning has been issued for Jamaica. So far the advisories show that Sandy is not supposed to become any stronger than 'just' a Category-1 hurricane. However, Sandy's track takes it straight through Jamaica. Its closest point of approach for Kingston with the center is just 20 miles (in 1 day and 5 hours). For Montego Bay on the northwest coast it is 60 miles. After Jamaica, Sandy is expected to move over eastern Cuba, the Bahamas and who knows, Bermuda again. There are watches posted for Cuba, Haiti and the Central and Southeastern Bahamas, so be alert.

Sandy is moving quite slowly, so locally dumping a lot of rain. I suspect indeed that the rain, which can cause dangerous mudslides in mountainous areas will be the biggest threat. Not only in Jamaica, but also Cuba, and given the size Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Meanwhile, Tropical Depression Nineteen (formerly 90L) might be upgraded to Tropical Storm Tony later today. However, it is no threat to any land. So still quite some activity this late in the season. -Gert

Saturday, October 20, 2012 09:09AM EDT - Anticipation: 99L and 90L

Good morning and happy Saturday!

With Rafaels demise came a short-lived quiet spell but it's probable that "spell" will be broken next week.

The usual reliable computer models for two weeks now have been forecasting development in the SW Caribbean with genesis expected early next week. The predicted system would then meander for a couple days over open water and then get picked up by a front and lifted NE with potentially life-threatening deluges dropping down on the Caymans, Jamaica, Cuba, and the whole island of Hispaniola (Haiti and the DR). It is not predicted to reach over to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands as far as the heavy rainfall is concerned but high level debris clouds are. Newly declared invest 99L, the tropical wave which gave us more rainfall than Rafael, is the prime candidate. Small chance but I know some of you are thinking is it possible Wrong Way Lenny #2?

Expected to reach TS status (Sandy), it is then projected to race up the coast as an early season Nor'easter. I know, too early to tell if any of this will happen but the potential is there. Activity is heating up again in the East Pacific very late in their season and we may have Rosa who one model shows as becoming a hurricane, impacting Mexico and bringing rains to the southern US.

90L is also a newly declared Invest about 950 miles to our northeast here in the Virgin Islands. Not expected to cause any trouble here in the Caribbean but those other islands we have mentioned more than a few times this season, the Azores, may feel some impacts down the road.

Further to the east, we still have some active waves and even though it is late in the Cape Verde season, early development is improbable but not impossible. Actually, at this time of year, we need to look in both directions as history has proven. Note: we still have 5 weeks left in the official 2012 Atlantic season.

Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, October 16, 2012 14:40PM PDT - Rafael passing by Bermuda
Later tonight hurricane Rafael is passing about 100 miles east of Bermuda. Although now a hurricane packing 85mph winds (Category 1), the island should only be experiencing tropical storm force winds. So I don't expect it to be too bad for them, other then rain, dangerous surf and rip currents...

On another note, thank you all so much for your donations over the last week! The website's future is safe again! Thank you for your support and for the very nice feedback I received. -Gert

Monday, October 15, 2012 08:02AM PDT - Bermuda...
Rafael left the Caribbean and leaving some welcome rain in places. Now however, it has become more organized and is expected to strengthen into a hurricane later today. Also, its track takes it only about 130 miles to the east of Bermuda in only 1.5 day (see Closest Point of Approach calculator). A tropical storm warning has been issued for the island. According to the wind speed advisory there is a 29% chance that Bermuda will encounter tropical storm winds, and only a 1% chance for hurricane force winds, so it shouldn't be too bad as it looks right now. Stay tuned... -Gert

Sunday, October 14, 2012 10:07AM EDT - Picky Rafael

Good morning,

While TS Rafael has been mainly a rain event for some of the central Windwards, the northern Leewards are bereft of rain and wind still. Guadeloupe has had almost non stop rain since yesterday while the British and US Virgin islands have received a total of squat! From a forecast 3-5 inches plus to under 1/2 inch so far. Wind shear, which has been our protective friend all season, is still protecting but could it please let this storm move 100 more miles to the east? We need the rain!!

All kidding aside, as Rafael continues to move slowly away to the NW while strengthening just as slow, we should see some activity later today and tomorrow as Rafaels "tail" brings a few lashings as a final farewell dragging some deep tropical moisture from Venezuela and the equatorial zone. Currently, we have overcast conditions with some filtered sunshine, 84% humidity and a temp of 84 degrees as well. I left balmy 36 degree upstate NY for this!

No damage has been reported down island except for some beach erosion and a few loose boats which is very good news. We have a flash flood watch in effect which seems to be an oxymoron with no rain present while the COPT (Captain of the port, USCG) located in San Juan PR has relaxed restrictions for all of our ports downgrading from Port Condition Yankee to Port Condition 4 which is hurricane season normal operations.

Down the road, Bermuda should feel the effects of Cat 1 Hurricane Rafael after which he has a first class seat to Europe courtesy of the jet stream. Weird how Bermuda and the Azores have been the most talked about islands this hurricane season!


Friday, October 12, 2012 19:52PM PDT - Rafael
And there we have it, Tropical Storm Rafael. Officially the 'center' (ie. most of the wind) is located about 140 miles west of Dominca or 185 miles south-southeast of St.Croix. However, looking at the satellite image above, it looks like it is covering almost all the islands in the eastern Caribbean. Lots of tropical storm watches and warnings have been issued, all the way from Puerto Rico, along the island chain, to Curacao. Due to wind shear it is not expected to become a hurricane, but the rain might be a major factor, esp. in mountainous terrain. Dave will probably give a more detailed update tomorrow. In any case, stay safe (and dry!). -Gert

Friday, October 12, 2012 16:03PM EDT - Developing 98L

Good afternoon from much warmer Miami!
The storms a comin'! and Dave is a runnin' back to the islands (easier when its 36 degrees where you were) before 98L decides he wants to dance. I say he as the name Patty was usurped by a relatively stormy imposter in the southern Bahamas. Earning the name and keeping it are two different things! Patty will enjoy a short lived lifespan being stretched like toffee at your local fair finally snapping and dissipating NE and SW. Still, have to give grudging credit as she wasn't supposed to develop in the first place! 98Ls name will become Rafael as in Zorro! Hopefully, he will keep the dashing part down to a minimum.
98L currently is being investigated by the hurricane hunters to ascertain whether a closed circulation exists. It appears the COC or center of circulation, is actually to the west of the system (Dominica) as dry air and wind shear from an upper level low to the west has been the inhibiting factor in 98Ls development. Basically, its outrunning its convection. Nevertheless, I expect to see a TD declared by the end of the day unless they find higher winds which jumps it to TS status and Rafael is born.
The track is more of a consensus straight up the island chain heading NW or NNW but a couple hundred mile deviation will mean you either get dumped on and howled at with torrential rains and gusty TS winds or you are stuck on the drier side (West) where a few showers and a breeze or two will be all you get. I'd like to take the middle ground, especially for the Northern Leewards as we need some drought busting rain as I mentioned in my previous post. I understand the Frenchies are now pulling their boats from the water in St. Thomas. It is very good to pay attention to what they do when a storm is imminent. This means they believe we could have some bad weather. I'll be chatting with a few of them tonight when I get back.
Size wise, 98Ls immense size means it will be hanging around for a few days and after it finally pulls away, it may have Bermuda in its sights but that should not be anything significant for them to endure. No models forecast it to head to the CONUS but Newfoundland also might have to contend with the leftovers.
This just in from WU monitoring the hurricane hunters: Hurricane Hunters found about a 10-mile wide band of westerly winds in 98L near 13.5°N 63°W, but the circulation is pretty broad, and may not qualify as a TD yet. No TS force winds at flight level yet.
Yet! More tonight or tomorrow morning after I return home!


Thursday, October 11, 2012 14:06PM PDT - Tropical Storm Patty
Tropical Depression Sixteen was just upgraded to Tropical Storm Patty. It is not the big blob you see on the satellite image above, that is still Invest 98L (see Dave's discussion below). Patty formed about 200 miles northeast of the Central Bahamas. It is more or less stationary, but expected to move slowly towards the Bahamas. But because of high windshear environment, Patty is probably downgraded to a depression again by the time it reaches the Bahamas. No watches or warnings have been issued. Though the Bahamas might be in for some gusty weather! -Gert

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 22:58PM EDT - 98L, Hmmmm!

Good evening from frosty upstate NY!
So, something just had to show up on the radar while I was doing my annual checkup in 25 degree yesterday morning upstate NY. Yes, the frost was definitely "on the pumpkin". And the ground. And my windshield! Fortunately, "snow" wasn't and will not be seen this week!
98L has been trying to organize and has shown flareups of decent thunderstorm activity even in the face of some pretty hostile upper level windshear. Currently located approx. 8.9N 50.4W, it is moving WNW at about 17 mph with a low of 1008mb. There is no storm wrecking saharan dust around remotely close by, the waters are definitely warm enough to support intensification and the atmosphere is pretty moist so that leaves wind shear as 98Ls only hindrance.That will not be the case forever. 
As usual with a non-named or organized system, the computer models diverge in all directions with the one model showing a Tropical Storm through the southern Windwards, a couple through the central Windwards as a TS also, and a couple head it to the northern Leewards as anywhere between a Cat 1 hurricane and a very strong wave.
Steering currents favor the last scenario, except for the hurricane part, as dominant high pressure in the central Atlantic should steer 98L to the NW once it approaches the islands. This will be especially true if it can organize. The very latest computer trends have it staying farther south though. If the NW solution materializes, this would put it on the doorstep of St Maarten, Antigua, Anguilla and Barbuda Saturday, the Virgin Islands Sunday and just north of Puerto Rico on Monday as either a depression or tropical storm since the wind shear is supposed to alleviate somewhat.
Whatever it turns out to be and wherever it heads, copious amounts of rainfall can be expected which, in the northern islands case, will be very welcome; a drought buster if you want to call it that. Just so long as it doesn't fall all at once and for a long time which, if this sytem slows down, could be a real possibility.
The next named storm will be Patty.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012 20:43PM PDT - Are we there yet...?
It's been a while, but here we have our fifteenth named storm of the season, Oscar. It is over a 1000 miles to the east of us, and even better, it is moving north-northwest, followed by a turn to the east, so away from us. Nothing to worry about. Meanwhile, Nadine is still making some loops around the Azores. They just issued the 86th (!) advisory on this system, and apparently it is now in the top 5 of longest surviving tropical storms 'ever'! The season is not over yet, but sure feels like it... -Gert

Tuesday, October 2, 2012 12:43PM EDT - Nadine & 96L

Good afternoon from Miami!
Long lived Nadine is still twirling around the Atlantic but will soon die for a second time as wind shear and much cooler temperatures combine to ensure her demise into extratropicality. I'm sure the people of the Azores are either tired of her antics or amused. Not sure which!
96L has emerged as our next candidate for namehood. Given a 70% chance by the NHC, 96L is forecast to turn NE and then North avoiding a collision with the Caribbean. This will probably happen but sometimes, they chug due east so keep an eye on it until it climbs well north of the islands. 
We definitely could use some rain in the Virgin Islands. Less than ONE inch was officially recorded on St. Thomas for the month of September 2012, now the driest on record. That brings the months of June, July, August and Septembers totals up to a paltry 6.84 inches from what I can tell. 
A few more waves will be approaching in the next few weeks and we should see a spike in mid October. We'll see!

Monday, September 24, 2012 10:32AM PDT - GOES-13 outage
Just a quick note, the geostationary satellite that I have been using to show images for the Caribbean and Atlantic is out of commission. The coverage by GOES-15, a more westerly stationed satellite, is just out of reach for us. There is a 'spare' satellite parked in orbit (GOES-14) that might be pulled out of storage. There are also some other satellite that can provide some imagery, but for the time being we won't have the 15 minute satellite imagery of the Caribbean and Atlantic. Luckily we don't have any storms coming... -Gert

Update: GOES-14 has been turned on! However, my normal source for the satellite image above (NASA Earth Science Office) is still working on incorporating this change. Therefore I am temporarily using the NOAA Satellite and Information Service as a source for the zoomed in image.

Sunday, September 23, 2012 11:54AM EDT - The Phoenix has risen again!

Good morning!
TS Nadine, yes, I said TS Nadine has arisen from her post tropical slumber and has re-energized herself back into a 60 mph tropical storm heading west and relatively soon, could become a hurricane once more! Nadine has been around since September 11th and was thought to have punched her ticket to Europe but instead decided to spend a holiday near the Azores and is now returning to the central Atlantic. It's entirely possible the Azores will have a repeat visit from Nadine in the future.
The rest of the tropics is pretty quiet except a wave down around the central Windward Islands which I wish would send some rain up to the Northern Leewards. Official St. Thomas rainfall record from Sept. 1 through today, believe it or not, is more than San Juan, PR for the same time period. STT - 0.76 inches. San Juan - 0.45 inches! Yes, folks. its dry!!!
A few waves coming off the African coast but conditions are unfavorable for significant development at this time.

Monday, September 17, 2012 10:25AM EDT - Still possibilities!

Good Monday morning!
It's rare when the Azores get in on the action, not once but twice this hurricane season. TS Nadine is approx. 640 miles SW of the Azores and is starting her transformation from tropical to non-tropical. A potent system still on her way to Europe but not before she takes a break for a few days due to weak steering currents.
93L has blown up quite a bit overnight across the northern GOM and will pose a flooding threat to many areas still saturated from hurricane Isaac like Louisiana/Alabama and Mississippi but has zero chance of developing before a cold front sweeps it up.
92L looked ominous a few days ago then wimped out but has made a comeback this morning about with its axis about 120 miles east of the islands. If the Eastern Caribbean death zone doesn't finish 92L off, it's possible development will occur in the Western Caribbean. Either way, we should get some badly needed rain out of this.
Over towards the coast of Africa, another broad wave is splashing down in the Atlantic while a few more are poised behind it. The very next one has held together quite well on its trek across the African continent and might very well be the last CV system to develop this season. The history for this season though is they fall apart shortly after splashdown in the atlantic. We will see!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012 09:07AM EDT - Long lived Leslie

Good morning,
First, a moment of rememberance for all those who gave their lives and those who fought to save them in the WTC attacks 11 years ago starting at 8:46 am. Our country has never been the same since.
TS Leslie is headed for Europe as she is lashing Newfoundland and is likely to complete her post tropical transition today. Leslie might even grab TS Michael, our only major player so far this season, for her date with Europe. So long Leslie and Michael! You guys have been around for quite a while!
An area in the Bay of Campeche in the extreme SW Gulf of Mexico is piquing some interest and has the possibility to develop if it drifts northward and stays away from land long enough. If it does, it could help to break the Texas Death Ridges grip and alleviate some of the drought. Not in stone yet though.
Closer to home, 91L will officially be classified TD#14 by 11 am. It was briefly classified yesterday erroneously and quickly rescinded. Currently moving WNW at 15 mph and positioned via satellite at 16N, 42.6W, 91L as it is right now, is forecast to recurve by 50W to the north and in the process, reach hurricane status like her mother Leslie possibly threatening Bermuda once again. We shall see how close Nadine gets to the northern islands. I just want her to knock on the door and leave some gift wrapped rain presents on the steps and then move on.
A small blob down around 11N 25W is forecast to take a more southerly route than its predecessors and develop into 92L with further development down the road. This system is forecast to recurve as well but get much closer to the islands before doing so.
Our next pretender to the throne is a possibility to threaten our islands somewhere around the 23rd. Time will tell.

Sunday, September 9, 2012 12:58PM EDT - Updates

Good afternoon,

TS Leslie impacts as it passes 140 miles east of Bermuda are minimal: much like a person swatting at a fly. Other than some minor power outages, which for the most part have been fixed already, and some agricultural damage, the island has "weathered" Leslie very well as they should have. A good thing to come out of Leslie is the heavy rains which is alleviating their drought situation. They use cisterns like many of us here in the Caribbean and were pretty much high and dry until now. I would love to have some of those rains myself!

Hurricane Michael is still a step child heading west for now with no land masses to menace which is a very good thing. Leslie is expected to regain hurricane status and threaten St. Johns, Newfoundland, graze Greenland and throw Iceland some waves and rain of all places. Somehow, Iceland and hurricane don't seem appropriate words in the same sentence but it has happened before. Still, a bit weird.

Michael and Leslie have a good chance of one absorbing the other directly or doing the dance called the Fujiwara Effect. During this "dance" the two systems will orbit each other gradually being drawn to each other like magnets until the stronger of the two absorbs the other. Michael is definitely stronger but TS Leslie is huge and the two might be of similar strength if they do meet. Will be interesting. Either way, Europe is in for one heckuva post cyclone storm around Norway with northern parts of England receiving a brush.

Whats left of the spawn of Isaac a/k/a 90L has been demoted and is impacting the west coast of Florida. Wind shear was it's final death knell.

91L is forecast by virtually all the models to recurve into the Atlantic and not pose a threat to the Lesser Antilles, possibly following the weakness left as a present by Leslie. Already at 14.9N it appears to be climbing a bit already. Its not impossible though for it to move further west than forecast which we have already seen this year. Something to watch regardless.

More waves are lined up but the Cape Verde season, at its height right now, will start to rapidly diminish as we approach the end of September. That's not to say one can't spin up but the probabilities diminish which means storms will form closer to the islands and in the Caribbean. Just some rain from any of them would be very beneficial.

Keep vigilant. It ain't over until its over someone famous once said. It's true.


Thursday, September 6, 2012 14:34PM PDT - Tropical Storm Watch for Bermuda
Slowly but surely Leslie is inching closer to Bermuda. Therefore the Bermuda Weather Service has issued a tropical storm watch. Leslie is a Category-1 hurricane, but is expected to be a Category-2 by the time it has its closest encounter with Bermuda. The forecasted track has actually moved significantly to the east, more away from Bermuda. The closest point of approach is now about 150 miles (at Sunday 5PM), a lot better than earlier forecasted. Fifty knot winds extend outward to the west about 80-90 miles (the weaker side of the storm), so out of range, however, the island will be within reach of tropical storm winds. Leslie is still 3 days away, so a lot can change in between... Don't put away the hurricane shutters yet, but it does look a lot better than earlier! -Gert

Wednesday, September 5, 2012 11:01AM EDT - Active!

Good morning,
The southern half of the remnants of Isaac, now 90L,  have decided to meander into the deep south and will enter the GOM in a few hours. The northern half roared throught the northeast yesterday and this morning. The southern half has the potential to generate into a depression and most likely will. If it is classified a named storm, it will not retain the name of Isaac but move on to the next name available which is Nadine. Forecast models at this moment diverge as to where it will travel but most likely will travel
east as it's picked up by a trough. This is unfortunate in two ways. The first and foremost is more rain to Louisianna, Alabama and Mississippi where Isac first went through. The second is, heading east, Floridas west coast will be under the gun again, especially those impacted by Debby earlier this year. Not good at all.
TS Leslie is looking better this morning and should reach hurricane status maybe as early as tomorrow if not tonight. The wind shear which had been hindering development has lessened which should allow intensification finally. As Leslie has been waddling very slowly towards Bermuda , it has been staying over the same areas and cold water upwelling will not allow RI (Rapid Intensification) until it moves over more virgin waters. Bermuda is still forecast to take a Cat 2 Leslie head on. They are veterans at storms and are usually well prepared with their infrastructure well up to code. New England and newfoundland might want to watch Leslie with more than a wary eye.
TS Michael has Napoleon complex with a touch of Rodney Dangerfield as he is small in stature and is getting little respect. Only a threat to shipping at this time, nevertheless expected to attain hurricane status as well. Currently forecast to head NW but will probably be picked up by the jet stream down the road and whisked off to Europe.
So, in the 161 years of recordkeeping, there has never been 13 named storms in a row without a Cat 3 or higher (major) hurricane among them. We now have
the heart of the 2012 hurricane season upon us and it appears the bowling alley will stay open for business with several waves having potential for development approaching the African coast and several already rolling towards the islands. Neither of the two already down the alley appear to raise any concern for now but it would be helpful is we received some rain from them. There is an Oscar still waiting his turn or Nadine hers if 90L doesn't spin up. So far, all of the male named storms have become hurricanes except for Alberto. TS Leslie could qualify as male or female. 
It's active everywhere so stay on those toes!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012 08:05AM PDT - M already
Tropical Depression Thirteen has just been upgraded to Tropical Storm Michael. Luckily it is far out in the Atlantic and poses no threat to land. Meanwhile, Leslie is slowly moving to the north, closing in on Bermuda. Leslie might actually be a category 2 storm by the time it reaches the island. The forecasted track takes the center of Leslie just to the west of the island, but this is a large storm, so we shouldn't focus on the center only. Bermuda will be in for a stormy weekend, with swells arriving earlier. Actually, the northern islands do also see high swell generated by this slow moving storm. Stay safe! -Gert

Sunday, September 2, 2012 12:10PM EDT - Logistically challenged Leslie

Good morning,

TS Kirk is racing towards a date with the UK and will definitely affect the coastline as if it were a winter storm. Hopefully not a harbinger of the winter to come!

99L is really not much to talk about except it has been labeled. Serious development is not probable.

TS Leslie isn't acting any different this morning as he is trying to fight off wind shear from the NW and dry air invading the COC or center of circulation. Still heading a bit west of NW, Leslie is still forecast to head towards Bermuda and possibly stalling out for a few days hammering Bermuda with major wave action. The threat to the mainland US at the moment is minimal except for rip current action along the coast. If it survives the wind shear and dry air attack, it still would have the potential to reach hurricane status.

More waves as I mentioned previously are rolling towards the Atlantic. They will have a tough time developing rapidly though as the steering high in the north eastern Atlantic is not only steering the systems west but sending saharan dust west too creating the same dry atmosphere we experienced in June and July. I was hoping TS Leslie would get close enough to send us some badly needed rain. This "tropical drought" is evident by the fact St. Thomas officially recorded just under 6 inches of rain for the summer months of June, July, and August while St. Croix officially recorded approx. 4.5 inches for the same period. Yes, isolated areas may have received more but these are the official amounts.

Currently, its overcast and muggy with not much air movement as Leslie has stolen our trade breezes and thrown clouds our way. I see some showers on radar. Hope they make it here!!

Happy Anniversary Isabel from St. Croix!


Friday, August 31, 2012 20:36PM EDT - Captain Kirk, TS Leslie and beyond

Good evening!

Hurricane "Captain" Kirk is making news but fortunately not making any landfall. His odds of making "Major" rank are still possible but dwindling with each passing hour. What he has assisted in doing though, is to help create a weakness which TS and soon to be Hurricane Leslie should exploit and move more northward into the open Atlantic avoiding all contact with the Northern Antilles. So, we here in the Caribbean should give him our send off blessings!

Back to Leslie. Ominous? Yes. Huge and getting bigger? Yes. Hurricane by tomorrow? Yes. Expected/forecast to hit the Northern Antilles? No. Is it possible still at this moment? Heck yeah! Just because all guidance has projected this continued WNW movement should not enable complacency. Isaac did this previously and history has this bad habit of repeating itself. Like very scary Hurricane Luis in 1995 followed by unexpected Hurricane Marilyn 10 days later.

This is not to say it won't start more W than WNW but the ridge has strengthened a bit and the guidance has been shifted "subtly" as they put it more west, like about 40 miles closer to the northern islands. So, now it's 390 miles. The margin for error is several hundred miles. You can do the math. 

Bottom line: Will Hurricane Leslie make an unwelcome visit this Labor Day weekend to the Northern Antilles? Probably not. But you should be ready just in case anyway as, with its close proximity just days away, you will not have much time to get prepared.

Looking ahead, if it does what it is supposed to do and turn, it likely will get stalled out, much like Isaac but over open water, as it will not have much in the way of steering currents. If this occurs, Bermuda and possibly the east coast of the US could be in for a surprise. We have a week to see how this future scenario will play out.

Farther east, several waves are already lined up to exit the African coast over the next several weeks taking us into the heart of the hurricane season. We seem to be dodging bullets so far except for Isaac. Keep your fingers and toes crossed their aim at the Caribbean and beyond stays bad with a corresponding run out of ammo eventually fortuitous. Unfortunately, I think Mother Nature has something bigger in her arsenal as September only starts tomorrow.

A beautiful blue moon to all tonight!


Friday, August 31, 2012 11:34AM PDT - Leslie go north!
The satellite image above looks quite ominous. But the official NHC advisories have Leslie pass north of us by over 300 miles to spare. Furthermore reassuring is that all models (see spaghetti plot) seem to be in agreement as well. The center of Leslie is now at 16.2N, the northeastern islands are at around 18N. In the six hours before the last advisory it moved north one degree, so it looks indeed that it is well on track to pass us to the north. We still have to keep an eye on it of course, because you never know! -Gert

Wednesday, August 29, 2012 22:48PM EDT - The 3 Musketeers

Good evening,

Usually I interject some humor in my postings in order for lay people to keep interest as weather can be a bunch of very dry statistics which is probably why I am not an actuary. The situation is still sad in Haiti and parts of the DR and now dire in parts of Louisiana and Mississippi as TS Isaac continues his slow, meandering, destructive crawl northwards. There has been much written about people who ignored mandatory evacuation orders and then needing rescuing, putting themselves and their responders in danger. This has been proven in the past. But, this is not the time for pointing fingers but for compassion. Blame can be assessed later. So can the rules for when you ignore a mandatory evacuation order. Even one life lost is too many and property can be replaced.

Enough has been said and will continue to be said about Isaac in the days to come so I will focus on the Caribbean and what is down the road.

TS Kirk is a mild mannered storm, just like my good friend Kirk, which should develop into a hurricane but not be a threat to anyone but shipping interests in the central Atlantic. 98L, on the other hand, is large and in charge around 40W and headed almost due west according to satellite imagery. Almost all computer models forecast a turn to the WNW and eventual NW reaching possible Cat 2 status. It is too early to tell if a weakness develops north due to TS Kirks wanderings or if it will be strong enough to blow by to the south and maintain a mainly west course as the high builds back in. If it goes north of the Antilles, it should pass far enough to inflict minor effects. If it doesn't, we could have a big problem on Labor Day.

Behind 98L there are a few more waves awaiting their turn at notoriety and we have not even reached the climatological high point of the hurricane season; we just entered it two weeks ago.

On a different note, while earthquakes are not a weather phenomenon, people sometimes attribute weather to their occurrence. This is not the case. However, we have had a swarm of earthquakes, all under 5.0, the last few days. This is not uncommon is an active fault area and we are 45 years overdue in this region for a 100 year quake. You can see a hurricane coming. An earthquake, you can't. Food for thought.

Hi Grandma Jeanne!

Dave M.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012 20:26PM PDT - Kirk
While Isaac is bearing down on the Gulf Coast with dangerous storm surge, and since it slowed down with locally extreme rainfall, we have an new Tropical Storm name Kirk. This was our old Tropical Depression Eleven, or Invest 97L. It is going straight for Bermuda, but should veer to the north well before it reaches 'The Rock', so no threat to us.

Also, our new tropical wave that might pose a threat to the islands has been 'upgraded' to Invest 98L. I haven't seen the first model runs on this system yet, but by tormorrow we hopefully know if it will follow Kirk or Isaac... -Gert

Tuesday, August 28, 2012 08:44AM PDT - Isaac
Isaac is about to make landfall in Louisiana. Although Isaac is still a tropical storm, people along the Gulf Coast shouldn't underestimate it. It is not necessarily the wind that poses the major threat, although tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 185 miles, but the storm surge. The advisories indicate a storm surge of up to 12 feet! Also, Isaac is slowing down, so it will be 'windy' and raining longer, causing more damage than with an ordinary storm. Use the tools above to calculate your closest point of approach (but keep in mind the storm is not a 'point', superimpose the satellite image and you'll see), and for a good discussion on Isaac check out Jeff Masters' blog at or Brian McNoldy's update that can be found on the Washington Post's "Capital Weather Gang" blog. I also moved the focus of the satellite image above to the Gulf to highlight Isaac. Please, everybody in that area, listen to the radio or whatever and heed those warnings!

In other news..., Invest 97L is curving nicely to the north and away from us. Also, the tropical wave that came of the African Coast might still become a tropical depression later this week, however, it looks like it might move north of the islands. Let's hope that holds true. -Gert

Monday, August 27, 2012 07:18AM PDT - A little breather
Isaac has passed us, and is now threatening New Orleans, although models are trending more westward each run. But keep in mind, this is a large storm, so don't focus too much on the center alone, a wide area will be affected by the storm surge. Invest 97L will pass us nicely to the north. There is however talk about a new wave coming off the African Coast that is expected to take a more westerly path and could pose a threat to the islands within a week... Stay tuned. -Gert

Saturday, August 25, 2012 11:56AM EDT - Isaac the Survivor and beyond

Good morning,

TS Isaac has survived the trek over Haiti and to a lesser extent the DR all the while threading the needle of water between Haiti and Cubas eastern tip. This does not bode well for the future. Unless he goes more westward and interacts with more land, we could have a major hurricane running amok in the eastern GOM which I mentioned in my last post a few days ago. Heavy rains have already flooded parts of the DR and Haiti with more rains to come. Unfortunately and sadly, we will see lives lost here.

Forecast cone of uncertainty shows a Florida Panhandle landing Tuesday afternoon but anyone from Louisiana to the west coast of Florida should prepare or be prepared. Major issues will be the obvious: Hurricane force winds with a very large TS wind field, torrential rains with the accompanying flooding, and storm surge which will have a problematic impact. Florida is running total rainfalls in the positive so severe flooding is likely while this could definitely alleviate Georgias and South Carolinas drought situations. One model turns it west after landfall which would help out parts of the parched midwest but this scenario is unlikely.

Most eyes are on Isaac but some of us still look towards the east and while not dire, more irons are joining the fire. 97L is days away and is forecast to become a TS and not be a threat to the Lesser Antilles. However, one of the most reliable, this year, computer models is the GFS and this model has 97L uncomfortably close in 6 days. The next wave expected to come off Africa at the beginning of the week is already expected to be a threat to the Caribbean somewhere around Labor Day. Still too early but really, it isn't when it comes to this time of the year. I don't like the looks of that one either.

I read somewhere the mayor of Key West won't order evacuations unless it's a cat 3. While it is a logistical nightmare with only one highway out which floods in some areas easily, I'm not of the opinion that is not smart reasoning. However, the people who live in the Keys are better prepared and not as complacent as most. The other issue for the Keys is Isaac has sped up and heavy rainfall with dangerous lightening is falling already.

Good luck to all and be safe!


Thursday, August 23, 2012 23:28PM EDT - Difficult Isaac

Good evening,

Difficult, problem child, maybe a few other disorders. TS Isaac has been a nightmare as far as forecasting goes since he has not followed normal conventionality from the beginning. All indications way previous, he falls apart. All indications recently, he intensifies. Wind shear, not really the culprit. Neither SSTs as they are definitely warm enough. Dry air, definitely, and not taken into account by humans nor computer models as much as it should have been. Well, it just verifies the caveat: weather is an inexact science and Mother nature likes to teach lessons to those who think they know everything.

Outer bands continue to pass over the BVIs, PR and the USVIs with St. Croix and PR receiving the copious amounts of rainfall predicted previously while the rest of the northern islands remain in a teased state. A little here; a little there. There will be more overnight into tomorrow though.

Port condition ZULU remains in effect for the USVI and southern PR ports until at least 10:00 am tomorrow meaning all ports are closed to vessel traffic. The USCG is expected to relax this condition pending investigation of the navigation aides in the territory and commonwealth of PR waters. This will probably occur.

Further on, Haiti and the DR look to suffer from landslides and flooding and this could be a catastrophic event for Haiti as they have virtually no vegetation or trees and many still living in tents. It doesn't take a hurricane to cause that much damage there.

A few days down the road, TS Isaac continues to confound most experts and the cone of uncertainty now includes cities as far west as New Orleans. This will definitely impact the eastern gulf coast plus the oil rig, fishing, tourism, and shipping industries unless an unexpected turn occurs. Anyone involved in those industries plus those living along the coast from Houston to western Fla. had better take heed. If TS Isaac survives the trek across the DR, Haiti, and Cuba, Tuesday night/Wednesday you could have a Cat 3 in your face. I know, they are only saying a Cat 1 but I believe different unless the track changes significantly or the mountains of Cuba tear it apart and leave a gigantic mess.

One last note for the night: Mr. Cantore and others, it is the Dominican Republic, not the Dominican! Sorry, this drives me crazy!


Thursday, August 23, 2012 08:11AM EDT - Isaac The Immense

Good morning,

Ginormous and humongous are actually too small to describe the size of currently minimal Tropical Storm Issac. It's approx. 1000 miles in diameter! One of the good things about a storm this size is it usually takes longer to organize. Conversely, one of the bad things is Isaacs effects will be felt for a much longer period of time.

With the unexpected wobble south overnight and the expected slowdown in forward movement, the effects on PR, the BVIs, and the USVIs have been minimized for the moment but with TS force winds stretching 140 miles in all quadrants, all areas noted will feel some TS force winds and wind gusts tonight and tomorrow. Port Condition Zulu was issued by the US Coast Guard last night effectively closing all VI and southern PR ports to ship traffic. I expect this to continue through today and tonight.

Amounts of rainfall here in the VIs have not even been close to what we expected but that will change over the next 24-36 hours as Isaac strengthens and moves towards the DR and Haiti. We need the rain badly here but those areas do not, especially Haiti. Plenty of rain fell in Martinique causing flooding there and on the other central islands and with the size of Isaac, more rain will fall with the outer feeder bands.

Currently TS Isaac is getting his act together. He finally figured out what was gonna be his center of circulation overnight (the reformation) and his atmospheric conditions will become more favorable in the way of warmer SSTs and lessening wind shear. The fact he slowed down to let some thunderstorm clusters catch up hasn't hurt his chances either.

Projected to be a hurricane soon, the cone of uncertainty has become a bit more certain this morning. Due to the immense size of Isaac, definitely Florida, Bahamas and then Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana will feel the effects of Isaac unless he decides to make a beeline for the Yucatan which is highly unlikely. Pray for those in Haiti still living in tents. This could be very bad for them.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012 20:48PM PDT - Isaac coming through
Although the satellite images look rather frightening I am happy to see that Isaac is still 'just' a tropical storm. I am very grateful to all the hurricane correspondents on the islands who have done a great job of telling what is going on around them. Just over the last two days I have received 289 updates (and counting) from you all!!!

The center of Isaac is expected to move about 100 miles to the south of St.Croix tomorrow morning. Being the most southerly of the Virgin Islands I expect them to be ok, although they will still experience tropical storm winds. But at least it is not a hurricane. The same for Puerto Rico.

However, Isaac is strengthening, and expected to be a hurricane by the time it reaches Hispaniola. It is forecasted to make landfall on the southern border of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and then proceed to move over Haiti... It will therefore bring torrential rains and mudslides to Haiti, where still about 400,000 people are living in 'shelters'... A big shame.

So please, keep monitoring this system. Check out what is happening on your favorite island by clicking on one the links on the right. Also, use the tool-bar above to check the latest advisories (I should be one of the first websites to have them posted), custom made satellite images and tools to calculate how close it can get to you (or Tampa, FL, the location of the US Republican National Convention next week). Stay safe everybody! -Gert

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 08:56AM EDT - TD#10

Good morning again,
As if TS Isaac wasn't enough, we now have TD#10, soon to be Joyce, right on his six! Forecast to go 500 miles north of the VI but that remains to be seen!
Be vigilant!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 07:47AM EDT - Hurricane watch

Good morning,
What we do know is this: TS Isaac was, as of the 5 am NHC advisory, located about 280 miles east of Guadeloupe or 520 miles ESE of St. Croix, moving just a smidgen south of due west at 18 mph. At 1003 millibars, Isaac has strengthened a bit to 45 mph sustained winds with gusts to 60 mph. Isaac is expected to attain hurricane status by tomorrow late morning after crossing through the central islands and entering the eastern Caribbean Sea.
On its currrent path and trajectory, which is not expected to change dramatically other than a wobble here or there, the center of Isaac will pass over Guadeloupe around midnight tonight as a strengthening TS. However, that is just the center as this storm is ginormous and its not even a hurricane yet with most of the central islands already feeling the vanguard of Isaacs intentions. Fortunately, Isaac is still speeding westward at 18 mph so his effects will not be as lingering or damaging as if he was going 8 mph.
In addition on this projected path, the center of Isaac would be 71 miles to the SE of St. Croix by 2 pm Tursday and 112 miles from St. Thomas/St. John around 3:15 pm. At those distances, sustained hurricane force winds would not be experienced. TS force wind gusts will definitely be felt and sustained TS force winds are possible for St. Croix as Isaac strengthens. Currently, TS force winds only radiate 45 miles from the center.
Heavy rains over saturated soils will be a major problem for the Windward Islands due to previous tropical visits. Thank you for the correction from Micheal in Dominica regarding these. The Northern Leewards could definitely use some of those rains but not in the quantity in a short time that will result in runoff and flooding as the soil won't have time to soak it in. Still, some is better than none.
What we don't know is this: After passing into the eastern Caribbean Sea, the forecast track takes Isacc as a Cat 1 hurricane just south of the Dominican Republic, across southern Haiti where there will be enormous issues, Cuba and on into the Florida Keys and the mainland. I think Cat 1 is a bit conservative due to less wind shear and much warmer sea surface temperatures. It could also due an east coast run and rake the Bahamas but this is down the road.
Stay prepared and stay safe.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012 16:21PM EDT - TS Time

Good afternoon,
Isaac it should be at the 5 pm NHC update. More tonight.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012 08:47AM EDT - Isaac

Good morning,
I hope you all have done your preparations as the time for fire drills is over. The real deal, a/k/a,Isaac will be making an unwanted visit to our islands very shortly. The good news is, he will be bringing beneficial rains to many areas which are really hurting for precipitation and he is a fast mover which means his visit will be short-lived. The bad news outweighs the good news though.
Isaacs rains will also fall on areas such as Dominica (please read our correspondents posts) which do not need anymore as they have been the recipients already of Ernestos contributions and this will lead to flooding and deadly landslides. Areas such as Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, BVIs and other northern islands that need rain will experience runoff and flooding too due to the intense rainfall rate and the inability of the sun baked ground to absorb it quickly. While expected to still be a TS when it exits the middle islands, Isaac will probably be a Cat 1 hurricane approx. 130 miles south of St. Thomas/St. John/BVIs (90 from St. Croix) mid Thursday morning as SSTs and wind shear will be quite favorable and the dust and dry air which has been our friend so far this season retreats. The northern islands can expect TS force winds with southern PR possibly expecting hurricane force winds but this is subject to the storms intentions.
The forecast path is subject to change at any moment and a wobble south or a wobble north could change conditions dramatically so nothing is in stone. Plan accordingly. Here is the list of watches and warnings at this time which will change:



Down the road, the DR, Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, Bahamas and the T&C will have their hands full with a SE US strike very possible at this time. Prepare for the worst. Hope for the best! More tonight.


Monday, August 20, 2012 09:20AM PDT - They are coming...
Invest 94L is now about 1000 miles east of the islands. Although it is not looking as threatening as a few days ago, it is still expected to become a tropical system within 1-2 days. Models first indicated that it might be a Category 3 at the time it would reach the islands. Now the intensity forecast is that it will be around tropical storm strength. The track still takes it over the Leeward Islands in 2 days. However, as you should know, nothing is certain with weather systems so we will have to keep a close eye on this one!

Behind 94L is 96L. Not sure why it is not showing up on the Navy/NRL website from which I get my 'invest' info. But in any case, looking at the Early cycle track guidance available on the 'Tropical Cyclone Guidance Project' website, at the Research Applications Laboratory of NCAR/UCAR (a new favorite resource for me), it seems to be turning north before it reaches the islands. Busy times ahead! So be prepared and stay safe! -Gert

Saturday, August 18, 2012 09:19AM EDT - Awareness and action

Good morning!

Last year at this time we here in the Caribbean were keeping an eye on a well defined tropical wave approaching the Lesser Antilles. Striking St. Croix as a tropical storm, brushing St. Thomas and the BVIs, and upgraded "after" making landfall on Puerto Rico as a cat 1 hurricane, was Irene; the first named hurricane of the season. Making a total of 9 official landfalls, her final resting landfall was Brooklyn, NY. She was the first to strike the CONUS since 2008 when hurricane Ike made an appearance.

Why the history? Because our next named storm will be Isaac and it should come out of the wave currently around 13N 32W known as 94L. Previous computer model runs recurved this system well before it reached the islands while the human experts consistently said it would stretch much farther west threatening our islands. The models clearly were not taking the strength of the ridge to the north in account and they usually don't do well with an unclassified system anyway.

Now, they are coming in line with the humans. The probability of this one reaching major hurricane status is high but when is uncertain and where it goes is uncertain as well. If it stays weak, it will head more westerly putting the islands at risk. If it develops quickly then it will have a better chance of recurvature before reaching the islands. While it is way too early to tell with certainty, I lean toward the western track and we could possibly have a major hurricane next week with an eventual strike on the mainland US not out of the question.

94Ls sibling, wandering a few days behind, will more than likely attain named status as well. The time is now if you haven't already and that is prepare. Complacency is a killer which we have seen time and time again. These thoughts aren't meant to scare anyone but are meant to enlighten and inform of the potential down the road. Weather being the
inexact science it is even with human experts and computer models, we still have alot to learn.


Friday, August 17, 2012 17:13PM EDT - Helene

Good afternoon,

Houston, ex TD#7 is now TS Helene in the extreme SW GOM.

94L and the sibling behind will be watchful and worrisome.

Happy Friday!


Thursday, August 16, 2012 21:30PM EDT - The future

Good evening!

Ex TD#7 has possible intentions in the GOM with decent development conditions available and actually it would be good if it went to Texas and moved inland to help alleviate the drought although it is way too late for many crops and the mosquito population in SW Texas would explode. Slim possibility does exists for it to travel across the GOM affecting the Florida peninsula. Yes, possible but not probable. Still, we have to look at all the possibilities.

93L, the former artist known as the "Beast from the East" is now Gordon, our 60 mph TS which could reach hurricane status soon and menace islands not used to cyclonic conditions: the Azores. Then, its on to menace Europe as a strong post tropical entity.

Back to our neck of the woods, the Son of the "Beast to the East" is just emerging from the African cocoon and, with the SAL far out in front and a rather moist, conducive atmosphere just ahead, it has a good chance of living up to its forefathers potential. If ex TD#7 doesn't steal it, this would be called Isaac. His potential sibling, Joyce, still resides in Central Africa and could be a very mean brat down the road as we start to enter the heart of hurricane season.

So far, we have been lucky. I hope it stays that way!


Thursday, August 16, 2012 09:32AM PDT - Tropical Storm Gordon
Tropical Depression Eight was upgraded to Tropical Storm Gordon, the seventh storm of the season. It is of no threat to the Caribbean since it is moving to the east, but Gordon is expected to cross the Azores in a few days. Although Gordon might become a hurricane, by the time it reaches the Azores in 3-4 days, it is forecast to have weakened to a tropical storm again.

Elsewhere, remnants of number Seven are currently producing heavy rainfall in the Yucatan, about the same place as where Ernesto passed by earlier!

Also, a new wave exited the African Coast. This might become our next storm, called Helene. It is expected to stay more south than Gordon, and might take it over the islands in a week's time or so. It's is still too early to say when, what or where of course, but we will follow its progress when it crosses the Atlantic. Stay safe everybody! -Gert

Wednesday, August 15, 2012 13:55PM PDT - Beast of the East becomes a Tropical Depression
Invest 93L, also known as our Beast of the East, was upgraded to Tropical Depression 8. It might actually become Tropical Storm Gordon later. However, it is already about 1000 miles northeast of the islands and moving away from us. So no threat to us, or Bermuda, although it is heading to the Azores Islands for which I don't have any hurricane correspondents (yet?). -Gert

Saturday, August 11, 2012 11:36AM EDT - Good news is right!

Good morning from Annapolis!
Reporting from the Chesapeake Bay area this morning as the weather clears out just in time to go fishing in the Bay and the Kenny Chesney concert tomorrow night, I am happy to say the "Beast from the East" has fizzled to the "Bust in the Dust"! What started out as potentially bad has turned into good news all around as TD#7, which had mild intentions, has fizzled also and is now just an open wave crossing into the Caribbean. Down the road, it has potential but going through the tropical graveyard that is the east central Caribbean, that potential is slim for now. The "Bust" is headed north and should not be a danger to anyone. Very good news indeed!
In the East Pacific the remnants of hurricane Ernesto are intensifying after exiting the Mexican coast but it will no longer be called Ernesto if it reaches named status again. As it's in another theater, it would be given the name Hector.
A sigh of relief ensues!! For now!
Dave M.

Friday, August 10, 2012 14:22PM PDT - Tropical Storm Watches Issued
Our tropical depression 7 is still just a depression, if at all, since it is hard to see if the center has a closed circulation. Also, it is moving into a less favorable environment so it is looking pretty good! However, the Hurricane Center is on the safe side and still projects it to become Tropical Storm Gordon in 24 hours or so. Therefore tropical storm watches have been posted for the islands of Guadeloupe, Martinique, Dominica, St.Lucia, Barbados and St.Vincent and the Grenadines. This means that tropical storm conditions could be possible within 24-48 hours. The depression, which is taking a similar path to Ernesto, is moving quite fast westward, and the center is expected to pass the island chain just south of Martinique late Saturday/early Sunday. We'll see if it is actually a tropical storm by then. If not, it will still be quite gusty. After it passed through the Lesser Antilles the storm is actually forecasted to dissipate well before it gets to the Jamaica area. Please, use the Tools bar above to get access to the latest advisories, satellite images and closest point of approach calculator.

Meanwhile, our infamous 'Beast to the East' is now Invest 93L. It doesn't look as 'beastly' anymore on satellite images, and even better, the models are in quite close agreement that it will pass nicely north of the islands! So some good news today! Stay safe, -Gert

Thursday, August 9, 2012 13:50PM PDT - Tropical Depression 7
Our Invest 92L, currently located about 1200 miles east of the islands, has just been upgraded to Tropical Depression Number Seven. It is expected to reach tropical storm strength within 24 hours. However, conditions are not that great for much more strengthening though. So far it is not expected to become a hurricane for at least five days. The next name on the list is Gordon. The storm is forecast to take a similar path as Ernesto. As it looks right now it is expected to cross the island chain between St.Lucia and Martinique Sunday early morning as a weak tropical storm.

Our 'beast of the east' just rolled off the African coast, we'll see what happens with this one. Stay safe every one! -Gert

Wednesday, August 8, 2012 07:55AM EDT - The Beast of the East!

Good morning,
I'll talk about the other systems in a moment but I first must expound on the 1007mb (already) low coming off the African continent in a few days that I first mentioned was possible back on my August 2nd post.  This is the beastiest one I have seen in a long time and it's still over land. It will probably attain TD status shortly after splashdown in the Atlantic and with strong ridging in place basically putting the top of the pot on tight, this systems chances of recurving out to sea, while possible, are improbable. While all eyes have been on Ernesto, this one has been sneaking up and is about to make a big announcement.
Long term forecast tracks and intensity, as we have seen, are not very accurate but if this one hold true, the northern Caribbean and the east coast of the US will be in for a nasty surprise. This is wake up and smell the coffee time!
Ernesto, now a TS, is soon to enter the Bay of Campeche after sweeping across the Yucatan with his eyes set on a second landfall as a hurricane again. Fortunately, landfall was not among a populous or builtup area and the Mexican government must be commended for their swift actions ahead of the storm which I'm sure saved a few lives. It is expected to dissipate over the mountainous terrain after the second landfall but the thought remains of regeneration once it reaches the east Pacific. It has happened before.
Ex-Florence is like your pesky little sister who keeeps asking "Are we there yet? Are we there yet?" Coming briefly to life, then waning, then showing signs of life again, she should remain a fish storm and maybe give Bermuda a litte trouble down the road. Shes about to enter some hostile upper level wind territory and that will just about kill off her chances of short term regeneration.
92L is fighting its way across the Atlantic looking poor one time and then impressive at others. Dry air is really a factor with 92L but some strengthening is forecast and its path should take it mainly west, following in Ernestos footsteps. 
The beast of the east is what I would be watching and will be. You should be too.
Dave M.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012 10:59AM PDT - Hurricane Ernesto
Ernesto was just upgraded to a hurricane, the second one of the season. It is now quickly closing in on the Yucatan Peninsula. The center is expected to make landfall tomorrow morning, but the weather will start to deteriorate soon. Ernesto is expected to pass about 80 miles north of Ambergris Cay (Belize) and about 95 miles south of Cozumel. According to the latest advisory tropical storm winds extend outward up to 140 miles, with the strongest winds in the northeastern quadrant ('top-right'), so within reach of Cozumel. Right now it is passing just north of the Bay Islands in Honduras. Read the latest reports from our special hurricane correspondents in the area: Honduras, Belize and Mexico. Also, use the tools above to calculate your closest point of approach and more.

The wave that came off the African coast a few days ago (Invest 92L) has not become more organized, so development, if any, will be slow. It is forecasted to take a more western path, and not curve north before it reaches the islands, so we will still keep a close eye on it. Stay safe everybody! -Gert

Monday, August 6, 2012 09:56AM EDT - More Ernesto and whats next?

Good Monday morning!
TS Ernesto. I know it seems like we have been talking about him forever but in reality, he was born only 4 days ago but has managed to cover alot of ocean in that time! The northern and into the GOM track many were actually wishing for due to its potential drought busting capabilities is almost out of the realm of possibility now. He simply isn't strong enough to be pulled to the north. So, it looks like a three punch combo heading to Belize and the Yucatan,  the Bay of Campeche, and the the mainland of Mexico around Veracruz. He could still possibly morph into a hurricane as a pinhole eyewall has been detected but time is running out. Heavy rains and flooding are definite.
TS Florence is no more. She has been relegated to TD status and is not expected to reinvent herself any time soon. Bermuda may have a tussle with her down the road and it's possible the interaction with warmer waters, moister air, and lower wind shear will allow her to ramp back up. For now thow, dissipiation to an open wave is expected passing well north of the Caribbean.
There is a low just south of the Cape Verdes which bears mention and a very large and active wave 1/2 way across the African continent. Is this gonna be the one predicted to be a hurricane around the northern islands Aug. 18-19?

Saturday, August 4, 2012 11:53AM EDT - Busy time!

Good morning!

TS Ernesto, quite resilient in the face of so much wind shear and dry air, continues his WNW trek through the central Caribbean and Jamaica has her TS warning flags up. They might need to be changed to hurricane warnings down the road. The forecast track is still anyones guess with the models split between NW turning and into the GOM and continuing into Mexico. I think the GOM, particularly Texas and Louisiana have more to worry about. While the rains will would be very beneficial due to the extreme drought conditions, they don't need them from a Cat 2 or 3 landfalling hurricane who has just feasted on those very warm GOM waters. In the meantime, Haiti, Jamaica and the Caymans should be prepared for flooding tropical downpours.

91L 100 miles off the east coast of Florida is looking to get a rise out of the gulfstream waters but should run out of time as it plows into Florida and Georgia. Florida doesn't need the rain as bad as Georgia does, courtesy of Debby but look for flooding as well.

TS Florence has strengthened from TD 6 status but faces a very hostile road and could dissipate by the time it passes well north of the Leeward Islands due to marginal SSTs and wind shear. Either way a fish storm for the Caribbean. Possible regeneration could occur once that wind shear relaxes allowing it to threaten the T&C, Bahamas and the east coast of the US but that is a long way off.

Still looking like its gonna be a busy month of August!


Friday, August 3, 2012 20:19PM PDT - Number Six
Well, Invest 90L, the wave that just came off the African coast has already been upgraded to Tropical Depression Six. Although it looks pretty impressive, the National Hurricane Center doesn't think it will become a major threat to us, even if it might still strengthen into Tropical Storm Florence. Apparently, due to winds shear and 'lukewarm' (rather than nice and warm?) sea water temperatures they think it will weaken well before it reaches the islands. I am sure Dave will have some more enlightening comments about this later. We still will monitor it of course because you never know and it doesn't look like it is going 'north' of us.

Regarding Ernesto, as it looks right now the center will pass over 100 miles south of Jamaica and the Caymans, as either a strong tropical storm or a weak hurricane, although models are not really in agreement about intensity. Its 'strongest' side is the northeastern quadrant, and as it looks right now tropical storm force winds might be able to just reach Jamaica or Cayman. Stay tuned! -Gert

Friday, August 3, 2012 10:31AM PDT - Only 9 more to go...
Just a short update from me, Dave has already laid out the current situation nicely below. Klotzbach and Gray from Colorado State University came out with an updated forecast of hurricane activity for the remainder of the season. In spite of the busy start of the season they still expect a below average season. The main reason is that we will see a week El Nino this season, which reduces hurricane activity. They now expect a total of 14 named storms, just one more than they expected in June. We are on number five, so only 9 more to go! Of these 5 are expected to reach hurricane strength, and two of these might become major hurricanes (Category 3 and up). The busiest part of the season is still in front of us, but it has heated up, with Ernesto and now the new wave that rolled off the African coast (Invest 90L). Stay safe everybody and don't forget to read all the updates from our friends on the island listed on the right. -Gert

Friday, August 3, 2012 07:46AM EDT - Ernesto and 90L

Good morning!
On satellite, TS Ernesto doesn't appear to be nothing more than a large annoying wave but Air Force Recon found sustained winds are stillat TS force but barely. Wind shear has increased and is taking its toll along with a little island interaction. Not much in the way of damage or injuries to report as of yet but it seems Ernestos passage will be quick and relatively unremarkable. Still, he packs a punch and this is no time to get complacent.
If Ernesto survives the next few days which is not a sure bet by any means, and slows down so the rest of the system can catch its breath and organize, we could still see a hurricane towards the end the week in the western Caribbean. Confidence is low according to the official forecast at that time due to the many variables involved. I still see a turn into the GOM where Texas, which could use a good soaking rain as well as the rest of the midwest, would be Ernestos last pitstop. Unfortunately, the GOM is ripe for the picking currently with untapped energy (warm seas stretching to good depths) and the potential for explosive growth which could catch many off guard is a possibility given the short time frame once unleashed.
90L was tapped less than an hour ago just south of the Cape Verde Islands and I was wondering how long it would take the NHC to start looking closely at this system as it was potent from the get go. This one, which looks more impressive than poor Ernesto, could be in mid season form and one to pay attention to. Ernesto really didn't suck up much energy from the sea on its speedy trek across the Atlantic leaving a moister and fuel filled region for 90L to feed upon.

Thursday, August 2, 2012 16:43PM EDT - Ernesto arrives!

Good afternoon!

TD#5 is now upgraded to Tropical Storm Ernesto speeding mainly west at 23 mph.

More later!


Thursday, August 2, 2012 08:44AM EDT - TD#5 and beyond

Good morning!
TD#5 decided to take a break overnight after finally being classified a tropical depression but has since ate some Wheaties and is now in the process of bulking up again this morning with some heavy thunderstorm activity.
Moving relatively fast for a TD at 20 mph, it is expected to reach TS status by tomorrow morning if not by the 11 pm advisory tonight. Forecast track as of this morning takes it about 12 miles south of St. Lucia and its closest approach to St. Croix on that track puts it about 210 miles south early saturday morning. Scattered outer rainbands, clouds and heavier seas would be the most prevalent effects experienced if this scenario stays true. Some dry air to the north and wind shear also from the north have combined to keep TD#5 from strengthening with any rapidity but it is experiencing less shear at this time which would allow for TS status soon. Still a couple of the computer models have indicated this system will degenerate into an open wave. I'm not of that line of thinking though.
After a hit and run through the mid Windwards, most of the computer models and humans take TD#5 into the Caribbean Sea where it will languish for a few days before hitting some very favorable conditions in the Western Carribean while on the way harrassing the Caymans and Jamaica. That's where it gets more interesting and inconclusive and remember, long term intensity and track forecasts are prone to large errors. The Yucatan, which could use the rains and also the GOM with surrounding drought stricken states which could also use these rains are on the computer models rainfall.
It all depends if it survives that long first of all and then whether an eastward moving system can recurve it into the GOM or just plow into the Yucatan. Both areas should be paying attention and I think a GOM landfall is a better possibility. (Russ)
Looking ahead, the choo-choo from the African continent still has many passengers looking to cross the Atlantic with evil intentions and long term projections show a strong system around the northern Leewards by the 18-19 of this month. Could we have another unwelcome participant to our chili cookoff in consecutive years? I hope not for charities sake as that is the biggest fundraiser for many needy, worthwhile charities. Send just rain!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012 13:53PM PDT - Tropical Depression Five
And there we have it... the Invest we have been following for a few days has been upgraded to Tropical Depression Five. It might become Tropical Storm Ernesto in 12 hours. The advisories show that this system is not expected to become a hurricane until five days from now, so not a quickly strengthening system it seems. Right now the forecasted track has the center cross the island chain over the southern point of Martinique where it will be Friday afternoon, but as you can see from the models (see link above) it can cross basically anywhere. So stay alert, and remember, a hurricane is not a point! Check out the special tools above for how close it can get to you, advisories, model plots, custom satellite images and more! -Gert

Monday, July 30, 2012 22:44PM EDT - Uncertainty

Good evening!

The quiet time has passed after the rabbit-like start to the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season and now we have several areas of interest heading into the historically active 2 months of the official 6 month season. We also have a plethora of waves lining up to take their chance at the 2012 notoriety crown. Isabel from St. Croix, the towel brigade has been called up from reserve to standby!

The closest of these is tormenting the mid Windward to northern Leeward Islands in 2 distinctly different ways.The mid Windwards up to Anguilla and Antigua have experienced heavy rains, gusty winds, rough seas, and generally miserable conditions while the BVIs, USVIs, and even Puerto Rico have been left bereft of the beneficial rains we were so looking forward too up to now. With the exception of a few showers and some thunderstorms here and there, the satellite imagery is way more menacing than appears, at least for these areas. The culprit struck just as it was on our doorstep: those westerly winds, which almost stopped this wave in its western moving tracks and shoved it NW.

Once it passes, it has the opportunity to be a surprise kind of storm as wind shear will be much less while those warmer ocean temperatures near the Bahamas and T&C islands will just add fuel to the smoldering system within just itching to rise. Interesting to see if and what will happen with this wave. Floridas drought is over but Georgia could use a good dose of tropical moisture. Depends on how strong it gets, if at all, and whether a front expected to have the same appointment time with the coast can recurve it northward.

All eyes are really on 99L, currently moving at faster than a 5th grader along 9N 36W. Current model guidance really does look like a spaghetti western: all over the place except backwards. The SAL layer (Saharan Dust) has released its draconian grip over the lower Atlantic basin and is now hovering to the north but still, its dry air influence has helped to slow 99Ls progress towards a name. That dry air is now being replaced by much more moister air environment, partly because the wave ahead of it plowed the road and the retrograde of the dust to the northern fringes.

Development will be slow but is almost sure to occur. Strength and track as it approaches the Caribbean are highly uncertain. If it treads the southern route, it will probably be decimated by those same westerly protective winds that have rerouted our wave of the present. That's not to say it won't be TS Ernesto or even a possible Cat 1 hurricane by then but if it continues south, passes through the mid to southern islands and enters the Eastern Caribbean, it chances of survival are immensely diminished. If it escapes the ITCZ and starts ramping up quicker, it will, in all likelihood, have a more northerly component and follow in our current waves footsteps. Not only would this pose potential issues down the road for the northern islands but the CONUS (continental US) as well.

So, we have many different scenarios that may play out not to mention the other pretenders that are sure to appear later in the next few months. Bottom line is to be prepared at all times. Hope for the best; plan for the worst.

Good night!


Monday, July 30, 2012 07:29AM PDT - New Invest
We have a new invest (99L) still far out in the Atlantic that rolled off the African coast a while ago. The Hurricane Center gives it a 20% chance of becoming a tropical cyclone in the next 2 days. It might be a hurricane in the next 4 days... Although still way too early to tell, models show that it will cross the islands and not go north before then (see tools above). These so-called Cape Verde storms can be very dangerous, so worth keeping an eye on for sure!

Also, as you can see on the satellite image above, there is a tropical wave passing through the Leeward Islands. This will bring some welcome rain without the winds! -Gert

Thursday, July 26, 2012 21:38PM EDT - Elmira NY Tornado

Good evening,

Mother Nature doesn't just strike as planned, historically forecast or the way we interpret her intentions.

After some tense moments which lasted forever, I found out all of my family and friends are safe from the tornado that struck my hometown, Elmira, NY, and surrounding areas of Corning, Pine City, and Addison this afternoon. I have family and friends in all these places. Some other folks aren't so lucky. A prayer would be appreciated.

The Blizzard of 1977 and the remnants of Hurricane Agnes in 1972 were obvious history makers for home and tornadoes are fairly rare. But, like a hurricane, it only takes one.


Monday, July 23, 2012 16:01PM EDT - Dust and Denial

Good afternoon!
The SAL (Saharan Dust Level), along with sinking air, have combined to contribute mightily to the demise of the destructive dreams of the vanguard tropical waves exiting the African Coast so far this season. The dust and subsequent dry air is literally strangling the moisture out of these waves and while the southern windwards have been receiving relatively normal rains, the northern islands have been parched and hot; spending alot of money on water trucks, landscapes, and pools. The very few fresh water ponds we have a well below normal and the ground rock hard.
The southern islands such as Trinidad and Tobago and neighboring islands have been the receipients of copious amounts of rain as of late, especially from the blobette mentioned by our correspondent earlier. Too much rain isn't good either as it just runs off when it rains so hard and the ground is hard too not to mention flash flooding.
This wave is not expected to develop but I suspect it has evil intentions down the road after transiting the "dead zone" of TS formation, the south central Caribbean.
An Invest has not yet been designated for the large blob off the east coast of Florida as it has contradicting characteristics but it too has some merit. So far, heading slowly heading N. Off to the east, the SAL layer has diminished off the African coast so this next vigorous wave has a better chance to develop than its predecessors.
Time, as always, will tell. Only the first third of Hurricane season 2012 is almost over. Theres 2/3 left!

Saturday, July 14, 2012 12:30PM EDT - Quiet but not for long

Good afternoon!

Well, the season started off with a bang in the Atlantic but has been quiet since while the Eastern Pacific is very active. That might change by the end of this month here in the Atlantic Basin.

So far, dry air courtesy of the SAL presence, combined with hostile wind shear has been the mortal enemy of any wannabe named systems coming from the east. Midway between the African coast and the Eastern Caribbean is a wave with a moister environment ahead of it and bears a good look. Behind it, in the Central part of the African conveyor belt is an impressive array of thunderstorms which has held together crossing the land. Long term models have this as a developer down the road after splashdown in the Atlantic.

Meanwhile, our islands are very dry and could use some decent steady rains, something we haven't experienced in quite a while. Hopefully that will change soon.

With quietness comes complacency. Don't get complacent!! Be prepared!

Dave M.

Friday, June 29, 2012 18:09PM EDT - 97L finally

Good afternoon,

A quick Friday note on 97L which was finally designated this afternoon.

Wind shear is expected to continue on the very moderate side until 97L passes through the islands but with copious amounts of dry air surrounding the system, its chances of rapid development are vetch and vetch nacchi: slim and none. (credit: I Dream of Jeannie TV show). Funny, I can remember that!

However, the named storms so far this season (4) have not gone along with the forecast plans presented, especially early on, so it wouldn't surprise me to see a TS or at least a TD by Sunday-Monday. Slow development, if any, is the official 20% forecast at this time.

Regardless, very beneficial rains should be realized by 97L as all of the Windward and Northeastern Leewards are quite dry, especially for the month of June. Its forecast path at the moment is through the middle of the Windwards with scattered showers and thunderstorms probable for the northern islands. Right now, one good thunderstorm would probably give our cisterns and the foliage a great boost while our beleaguered WAPA (Water and Power Authority) here on St. Thomas would probably go out electric wise which is something we are used to on sunny days.

Rapid development, again, while very slim, would be very bad as most are not ready for an early season slam and with the dryness of the soil, flooding would be a real possibility.

As always, time will tell. Its Friday everyone! Enjoy your weekend, St. Johnians (US) enjoy the Carnival festivities but also keep peeking east. We don't need any surprises. Anyone remember Hurricane Bertha (2006)?


Sunday, June 24, 2012 10:43AM PDT - Debby
The fourth storm of the season already. Apparently never before did we have that many storms this early. Debby is located in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. Bands are extending over the whole state of Florida. This storm is hard to forecast, not only in strength but also direction since it is moving quite slow as Dave wrote earlier and you can see from the 'model spaghetti plot' (link above). It is currently moving northeast, but is expected to turn to the west. Tropical storm watches and warnings have been issued for regions around the Gulf (see the latest advisories for current info).

For people in the affected region wondering how close (and when) the storm can get to them, I have included some cities around the Gulf in my Closest Point of Approach and distance calculators. Stay safe! -Gert

Saturday, June 23, 2012 13:27PM EDT - Duh, which way do I go 96L?

Good afternoon,

As spaghetti westerns go, 96L takes the cake as the ensemble and
regular computer models take soon to be Debby, every which way but
south. And that is even spread out all over the GOM.

Wind shear is still moderate and there is dry air to the systems west
which are assisting in keeping a lid on development but the eastern
Gulf is very moist and wind shear is expected to relax a bit so
further development will occur. How strong will Debby get? Current
line of thinking is not a hurricane but definitely strong TS.
Upwelling due to its slow movement could also inhibit strengthening to
hurricane status. Hurricane hunters are assessing the situation as I

Direction: Again, its pasta time. West to the Texas coast which would
be beneficial only in easing the drought. East to Georgia and Florida
which I favor but the worst of the scenarios as copious amounts of
rain will bring flooding conditions. This area was under severe
drought conditions but recent rains have alleviated that issue. Slight
possibility north does exist as well.

Storm surge will be an issue along the SE Louisiana, Mississippi and
Alabama coast with Debbys approach, likely to 5 feet with

Definitely by tomorrow afternoon but more likely tonight we should
have an official "Debby". All interests from Houston to the Keys
should be watching closely.

Off to our east, the SAL has a draconian grip from the African coast
to the islands. While water temps are favorable for development, so
much dry air is not and the SAL is doing that job well. Rainfall is
low for this time of year and the US Virgin and British Virgin Islands
are dry and brownish. Water trucks are everywhere and cisterns are

More later!


Wednesday, June 20, 2012 06:15AM PDT - Chris and more...
Reporting from St.Martin, hot and humid here, but I am feeling a nice cooling breeze where I sit. The island looks very green, although we haven't had much rain in the last 10 days or more. We have the third tropical storm, Chris, luckily it is far north in the Atlantic and is not threatening any landmass. There is also an Invest (95L) and this one as well should not be a bother to the Caribbean. Finally, there is a tropical disturbance over Cuba and surrounding islands. This one is moving towards the Gulf of Mexico. Although chances are low that it will develop into anything, there will be heavy rainfall over Cuba, Cayman, some of the Bahamas from this system. Lots of activity, but nothing major yet! -Gert

Friday, June 1, 2012 13:47PM PDT - And we are off...!
Today marks the official start of Atlantic Hurricane Season, although we have had two tropical storms already. Apparently this is the first time since 1908 that we start with the 'C' storm, actually, the first time ever, since storms were not named until 1950. Below the list and pronunciation for this year's contenders:
     ALBERTO        AL BAIR- TOE     LESLIE          LEHZ- LEE
     BERYL          BER- RIL         MICHAEL         MY- KUHL
     CHRIS          KRIS             NADINE          NAY DEEN-
     DEBBY          DEH- BEE         OSCAR           AHS- KUR
     ERNESTO        ER NES- TOH      PATTY           PAT- EE
     FLORENCE       FLOOR- ENCE      RAFAEL          RAH FAH ELL-
     GORDON         GOR- DUHN        SANDY           SAN- DEE
     HELENE         HEH LEEN-        TONY            TOH- NEE
     ISAAC          EYE- ZIK         VALERIE         VAH- LUR EE
     JOYCE          JOYSS            WILLIAM         WILL- YUM
     KIRK           KURK

For people new to this website, you have come to one of the few hurricane websites with original information and unique tools. The heart of stormCARIB is the local reports with first hand information provided by the volunteer hurricane correspondents living on the islands (see the list on the right). I think I have now correspondents on almost all islands, except maybe for some in the Bahamas, but I can always use more volunteers!
Also, at the top of the page there is a satellite image featured, zoomed in on the islands, which is fed from NASA's Earth Science Office. Normally it shouldn't be older then 60 minutes (it says below the image how old it is).
When there is an active storm a 'Tools' panel will appear below the satellite image, with links to tools on my website for calculating how far and/or how close the storm can get to your location, also links to the latest advisories, storm-centered satellite image, and model plots. I get the advisories directly from either the National Hurricane Center or from the WX-Atlan listserv (whichever comes first). The Tropical Weather Outlook (a summary describing potential areas of development) featured below in yellow, also comes from the same sources. It is updated every 6 hours.
In addition me and especially my friend Dave McDermott, living on St.Thomas will provide our own weather discussion here. Naturally, they are more Caribbean focused than discussions elsewhere.
In case an island is hit pretty badly I will open up an island-'Pleas for Help' board where people can exchange information and ask island/person specific questions. Hopefully I don't have to do that this year!
There are more things featured on this website, like the climatology-section, with lots of historic island-specific hurricane information. So, thanks for visiting, and have fun poking around, and above all, stay safe this season! -Gert

Wednesday, May 30, 2012 09:32AM PDT - Bye, bye, Beryl, Hello, start of season!
We are on 'B' already, and the season hasn't even officially started yet. This doesn't necessary mean that this season is going to be super busy though. Most forecasters (see some older postings, and recently NOAA) see an about average season. This is mostly due to the more El Nino like conditions this summer which, because of the increased wind shear, inhibits hurricane formation or strengthening. A while back I did look at the relationship between when the first storm of the season formed and total number of storms for the season. I concluded that there was no significant relationship. (Read the analysis: "First Storm of the Season", in the Climatology-section). Nevertheless, I hope that you are by now ready for the season... It's much easier to get your things together now then when a hurricane is on your doorstep! Remember those traffic jams, long lines at the supermarket, and sold out supplies at the hardware store last time? -Gert

Friday, May 25, 2012 20:14PM EDT - The "B" Bros!

Good evening,

Newly downgraded TS Bud (East Pacific) actually made Cat 3 status in the limited time it had but is now dealing with the mountainous terrain of Mexico and cooler waters. Slowly moving, its rainfall potential, even in sparsely populated areas, could be devastating.

The other "B" hasn't reached name status but the NHC gives it an 80% chance over the upcoming holiday weekend. 275 miles SSE of Charleston SC, this system, still designated 94L, will track WSW eventually and move over land somewhere between Jacksonville FL and Charleston SC. The only issue 94L has which has delayed development is high wind shear from the SSW. This is expected to diminish. As it retrogrades over the Gulf Stream and warmer waters, the possibility exists it could be 50-60 mph at landfall. The wind shear will be the teller of this tale.

Once over land, a trough will pick it up, turn it back NE and take it out to sea dumping more rain on the same ground it landed on. Or so it appears. Either way, it could be a drought buster for parts of the southeast!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012 08:43AM EDT - Invest 94L

Good morning!
Nothing like early season activity to peak peoples interest and jolt them into the reality that another official hurricane season is upon us!
Short-lived, meandering Alberto has finally made his exit from the tropical theater without causing mainland harm other than some minor beach erosion, rip currents and some badly needed rain along the coast of Georgia while off to our east, 2 weak tropical waves migrate along hurricane alley with a good measure of Saharan Dust thrown in for good measure. Development not expected and the African continent is relatively quiet. In the East Pacific, TS Bud is trying to become a hurricane and initial thoughts were that it was but now, that has been tempered a bit as he is not strengthening as fast as initially forecast and is running out of time. Bud might not even make landfall along the Mexican coast but the threat of torrential rains and life-threatening mudslides is a real possibility due to the mountainous terrain. The other downside is Buds rains might not stretch into SW Texas where it is badly needed.
Now, on to Invest 94L. Located on the outside of the Gulf of Honduras, development initially is possible however 94L has another low in close proximity to it but it should win the "Dancing with the Invest" competition. As it moves to the NE, high wind shear should crush its hopes of reaching named status. Still, heavy rains are forecast along its path through the Caymans, Jamaica, Cuba, T&C, and the Bahamas. Even SE Florida, including Miami, is under a flood watch.
Here at home in the Virgin Islands, rains replaced the sunshine that was erroneously forecast on last nights news by our "not based in the Caribbean" weather person. However, a drying trend is expected this afternoon with high pressure in control so plenty of sunshine and breezy winds are on tap.
The official start of the 2012 Atlantic season is a mere 8 days away. The wake-up call has already been issued.

Saturday, May 19, 2012 20:25PM PDT - First storm of the season!
It's not even June 1, the official start of hurricane season, yet, but here we have our first named storm, Alberto! At least good for us it is no threat to the Caribbean. Currently it is about 100 miles of the coast of South Carolina, USA, and moving away from it. As it looks right now, it should stay offshore and it is not expected to develop into a hurricane either. One down? How many more to go? A little wakeup call for all of us in the Caribbean, if you needed it, that hurricane season is near! -Gert

Monday, May 14, 2012 20:06PM PDT - 2012 Hurricane Season
I have just made the website ready for the upcoming season. A little late this year, sorry. Since I started the Caribbean Hurricane Network (1996) we have the same list of names (that gets rotated every 6 years) as back in 2006 and 2000. The 2006 season was really quiet, and no names were retired, like is done with notable storms. The only new name, Kirk, was added in 2006, when Keith caused havoc in Belize and Nicaragua in 2000. Hopefully no new names have to be retired this year! The long term forecasts at least seem to indicate that the season will be about or below average. Let's hope it's true. Although, as we all know, just one big storm hitting your island, makes it a bad year! I am ready now for the upcoming season. Are you?

Two more notes, if you can, please donate a bit to the website. With the recession, donations are unfortunately well down so that I have to keep the ugly banner ads up... That brings me to my second point, I am actually looking for someone who, on commission basis, can attract sponsors that are willing to advertise on the website. If you think you can create a portfolio of advertisers, or know someone, let me know. See the advertise webpage. -Gert (

Saturday, May 12, 2012 11:28AM EDT - 92L plus

Good Saturday morning!

Invest 92 was declared this morning but is nothing to worry about here in the Caribbean unless it takes the worlds conveyor belt southward. West of the Azores, it is expected to be a headache for shipping interests and Europe. Further development is not expected due to waters colder than 80F.

Meanwhile, the East Pacific zone is heating up almost on cue as the official start of their season is May 15th off the coast of Mexico. We may see Aletta soon and this may be the most active area this coming season.

Closer to home, the Western Caribbean and Florida have been keen points of interest the last week or so according to model guidance. It will not be unusual to have tropical cyclone formation in these areas at this time of year historically speaking.  Next week could get interesting and busy in these areas while at the same time, a tropical wave just off the African coast has a little buzz about it too.

Here around the Virgin Islands, the BVIs received plenty of rain the last two days while the USVIs received pittances. The distance of less than 20 miles makes plenty of difference as we saw during Hurricane Marilyn in 1995. Plenty of volcanic ash has been blue-gray evident with the predominently east southeast wind flow but will soon be replaced by the vanguard of the 2012 Saharan Dust event starting tomorrow as a large area of this hurricane suppressing, air drying mass occupying most of the hurricane belt across the Atlantic, makes it's appearance as a reddish haze making for more allergy issues and beautiful sunsets.

Happy Mothers Day and have a great weekend!



Monday, April 30, 2012 09:41AM PDT - More forecasts
In addition to the Klotzbach and Gray forecast, and Weather Services International (part of the Weather Channel) are projecting below average number of storms (see this article in the L.A. times)! Good news. Tomorrow is May 1, only one month till the season starts! Are you ready? I am not, still have to make this website ready for the 2012 season... -Gert

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 10:20AM EDT - 2nd Actually!

Good morning again!
I don't usually think of hurricanes too much during Jan-April so I forgot about a very short lived Invest
back in February so this one is actually the @nd one of the 2012 year.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 08:22AM EDT - 1st Invest 2012

Good morning!
Now that tax season is over I can concentrate on the weather once more!!!
Really? An Invest already??
Invest 91, the first one of 2012, has been designated. While not impossible, development is rare in these instances mainly due
to ocean temperatures which are the fuel for tropical development and the high latitude
As of 2am this morning, it was located at 32.7N, 59.2W retrograding south at 10 mph. Maximum winds were 40 mph.
Nevertheless, it peaks our attention and acts as a reminder of what lies ahead. June 1st is not far off!

Monday, April 9, 2012 16:34PM PDT - Below average hurricane season forecast
It is that time of the year again that forecasters Gray and Klotzbach of Colorado State University issue their forecast of how busy the season is going to be. They are projecting a slightly below (!) average season with 10 named storms, of which 4 become hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes (Category 3 and up). In a normal year we get 11, 6 and 2, resp. The reason for a normal year is that the tropical Atlantic is actually cooler than normal. Also, there is a weak El Nino expected for this Summer, which because of increased wind shear, make it less conducive for tropical storms to develop. There is a 34% chance that at least one major hurricane will move into the Caribbean (normal is 42%). So that's pretty good news. However, as the authors note: "Coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them, and they need to prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted." Less than 2 months till the start of the season! Read the full report on the Colorado State website. -Gert

Monday, February 6, 2012 10:24AM EST - Already?

Good morning!
An INVEST in February??? Yes, it's true!!! Between Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula.
Not expected to grow into anything but not impossible either!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012 16:35PM PST - Good news from Haiti
Normally news from Haiti is bad, but I read an article in the Miami Herald by the head of US AID titled "Haiti 'a country undeniably on the move'" that sounded really positive. Although there are still about half a million people in makeshift tents, things seem to get better, arguably even better than before the quake. Often people focus on the negative, this is a nice change. -Gert

Saturday, December 31, 2011 21:19PM EST - 2012

Happy New Year to all! May Mother Nature turn all of our 2012 storms into fish storms!!!

Maintained & moderated by: Gert van Dijken (
Weather discussions also by Dave McDermott, St.Thomas, USVI.

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