Caribbean Hurricane Network
- 2 0 1 9 Season -
|- - - 2019 Season - - -|
Weather discussions by Gert & Dave during the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season. The homepage with the links to local reports from the islands, latest satellite image, current weather outlook can be found here.
Bermuda should pay attention to this storm as well. It might pass pretty close as a hurricane in 4 days or so...
Elsewhere.... we have a few waves in the Atlantic, of 96L being the most noteworthy, still far out, but it could become the next named storm. The GFS and ECMWF model shows that it will turn north enough to not affect the islands. Stay tuned... -Gert
Friday, September 13, 2019 21:08PM EDT
Conditions will deteriorate later today when it is forecast to move closer to Abaco. It is expected to be a tropical storm (named Humberto) by the time it reaches Grand Bahama. People are of course still quite on edge. But this will by far not be an event like Dorian. However, there will be tropical storm winds and 1-2 inch of rain. Not fun when your house is in shambles... The only positive I see is that all the salt will be washed away from the island, which will be good for the vegetation. Stay tuned... -Gert
Wednesday, September 11, 2019 20:15PM EDT
- Humberto soon?
The other invest (94L) we have been following for a long time. It is still struggling to become 'something', and it is losing its battle with wind shear and dry air. So luckily no threat either. The last area of interest is a wave that got just off the African coast. Formation chances are also quite low, but we will keep following it of course... -Gert
Monday, September 9, 2019 20:37PM EDT
- Bye Dorian! Keeping an eye on the rest
Saturday, September 7, 2019 10:10AM EDT
- Goodbye Dorian Hello The Phoenix & Others
Wednesday, September 4, 2019 20:30PM EDT
- Conga line time
I am not getting that many reports from the Bahamas, with communications out, and people having better things to do. There is a Dorian People Search website set up, if you are looking for the status of your loved ones. They also have a list of local relief organizations where you could donate money to. I have set up island-specific Please for Help forums at help.stormcarib.com so people can communicate at a centralized location if need be. They do need our help!
So with Dorian finally gone from Grand Bahama, let's focus back on what is going on elsewhere... Three named storms, one invest, and one wave coming off the African coast. This must be peak hurricane season! Fernand just made landfall as a tropical storm just north of La Pesca, Mexico. Wind is not the problem here, but it will cause a lot of rainfall, possibly resulting in flash floods and mudslides. The advisories are indicating local rainfall totals as much as 18 inch! At least this storm is moving along well, and is predicted to dissipate in 24 hours or so. Still the rainfall in esp. the mountainous areas will remain a threat.
Then we have tropical storm Gabrielle, far out in the Atlantic. This one is not expected to become a hurricane. It is also moving northwestward and will pose no threat to us. Invest 92L is located just east of Bermuda, and moving away from there, so no threat either.
Finally, there is a tropical wave coming off the African coast. Dave mentioned it earlier already. This one also might become a tropical storm. Right now it is too early to tell if it will ever reach the islands. The Tropical Weather Outlook (see below) indicates that it will move westward to west-northwestward. Let's hope for a more northernly path so that it will bypass us. Stay tuned for more... -Gert
Monday, September 2, 2019 20:48PM EDT
- Of Course Dorian and others
Freeport's distance to center Dorian by Advisory time (EDT): Sun 5PM 87 miles Sun 11PM 50 miles Mon 5AM 31 miles Mon 11AM 30 miles Mon 5PM 25 miles Mon 11PM 27 miles Tue 5AM 30 miles Tue 11AM 38 miles Tue 5PM 79 miles (yay!)
|Closest Point of Approach Relative to Freeport (Sep.2 5:50PM)|
Sunday, September 1, 2019 21:02PM EDT
- Agonizingly slow, devastating, unpredictable Dorian +
Below I made a table to show the progress of the storm over the Bahamas in numbers. I list the closest point of approach of the eye with Marsh Harbour (Abaco) and Freeport (Grand Bahama) over time, the distance the storm has traveled between the positions (d) and the forward speed. Right now the forward speed is 7mph, but will slow down to 3mph. Monday morning the storm will be closest to Freeport, but as you can see below 12 hours after the storm is closest it is still very close. Important note Although I give numbers relative to the eye, the hurricane is not a point. Don't focus on the eye alone or assume the forecasted track is right. Hurricanes tend to 'wobble' a bit, eye replacements occur as well. This is not an exact science.
CPA MH FP d speed NOW Sun 2PM 185 MPH CAT-5 4 99 7 mph 12H Sun 8PM 175 MPH CAT-5 34 62 38 6 mph 24H Mon 8AM 165 MPH CAT-5 85 21 51 4 mph 36H Mon 8PM 155 MPH CAT-4 119 36 34 3 mph 48H Tue 8AM 140 MPH CAT-4 151 73 37 3 mph 72H Wed 8AM 115 MPH CAT-3 286 235 166 7 mph-Gert
|Dorian September 1, 2019 14:10EDT|
View the latest storm centered image and loop
Saturday, August 31, 2019 23:06PM EDT
Good night, Seems the NHC is being very conservative at this moment in calling Dorian a Cat 5 even though numerous instruments from NOAA and HH aircraft appear otherwise. Thatâs really not important. The difference as I noted before is really negligible. 150 mph or 160 mph is still going to rock your world. Whatâs important is nothings changed for now substantially from an hour ago. Be safe and ready. Dave Sent from my iPhone
Saturday, August 31, 2019 22:17PM EDT
- Just plain BAD and non conforming Dorian
Saturday, August 31, 2019 11:30AM EDT
- Dangerous Dorian
After the Bahamas its next target is Florida. Right now the landfall seems to be near Fort Pierce, north of West Palm Beach. Models are not in strong agreement when Dorian will start turning north. It might even start before making landfall in Florida, which might make the storm surge a lot worse for people up north. The ECMWF model actually shows Dorian almost stalling above the Bahamas for almost a day before making a turn to the north.
So there are quite a lot of uncertainties of when and where. This has the potential of becoming a Category 5 storm when it crosses the warm Gulf Stream. Intensity has never been a strong suit of the numerical models, they do better in forecasting where it goes. People in the northern Bahamas really need to prepare for the landfall of a Category 4 (or more) storm, but also people more south need to keep close attention. Dorian has surprised us before with a little jog to the north. A little jog to the south now would make a huge difference depending on where you live, so you better be prepared regardless. -Gert
|5PM Advisories showing track and CPA with Abaco, red = Category 4 [note the scale bar]|
|- - - ECMWF Model Runs Saturday - Thursday - - -|
Thursday, August 29, 2019 18:55PM EDT
- Dorian the Destroyer
Right now the center of the storm is expected to move just to the north of the Bahamas. Its closest point of approach with Nassau is about 140 miles, but the CPA is only 35 miles for Marsh Harbour, Abaco and 50 miles for Freeport, Grand Bahama in about 3 days. At that time the official forecast predicts Dorian to be a Category 4 storm! Also, I have noticed that the 5-day forecasts have been trending south a bit, the well respected ECMWF model is also showing a track more south than the official NHC forecast, so that this into account. As always, don't focus just on the track! This is going to be a major storm, entering very warm waters!
For the US, right now it looks that Dorian will make landfall around Vero Beach and pass just south of Orlando. Not good at all. I have listed coordinates of many cities in Florida in the closest point of approach-tool. Although we are the 'Caribbean' Hurricane Network, I have noticed many people in other locations using the very popular CPA tool. So people in the Bahamas and Florida, keep very close eyes on this storm. Over prepare and expect the unexpected! -Gert
Wednesday, August 28, 2019 09:18AM EDT
- Dorian arrives in the VI
Monday, August 26, 2019 21:29PM EDT
- Dorian and friend
What happens next to Dorian is still a big question mark. Some models suggest that Dorian will strengthen into a hurricane while others indicate that it might dissipate in the Caribbean Sea... The track of this system is a bit more east again compared to yesterday. So Puerto Rico, you are not out of the woods yet. Right now the closest point of approach for Ponce, Puerto Rico is only 45 miles. The official forecast puts Dorian at a category 1 hurricane, packing 80mph winds... Stay tuned, in the meantime use the above tools to assess the situation for your location. -Gert
After it passes the island chain it looks like it is going to bypass Puerto Rico, and instead is aiming for Hispaniola. The intensity forecast is a bit uncertain, and although Dorian is expected to become a Category-1 hurricane, by the time it reaches the Dominican Republic it is forecasted to have weakened to a tropical storm again. Hope the storm will not veer more west and go over Haiti. They unfortunately don't cope well with wet storms...
Use the tools above to check out the threat of the storm to you, and stay tuned... -Gert
|- - - Dorian relative to Barbados [line=track, blue=tropical storm strength) - - -|
Saturday, August 24, 2019 22:56PM EDT
- Dorian and others
The good news is that it is a pretty small storm, so the high winds will be constrained to a relatively small area. The storm is also pretty far south, at only 10.4N. It is moving westward now, but expected to curve a bit to the north before it reaches the islands.
Right now looking at the closest point of approach, the storm will pass Barbados at only about 40 miles to the north on Tuesday, still as a tropical storm, and is expected to cross the island chain between St.Lucia and Martinique, also on Tuesday. Further down the road, it looks like it will pass just south of Puerto Rico, but that is still pretty uncertain, and depends on how much of a turn to the north it will make. So stay tuned and in the meantime check to tools above to get more info on this storm. -Gert
Also not much else going on in the Atlantic. I see a tropical wave coming off the African coast but there seems to be a lot of wind shear, so that probably won't develop into something for awhile. Traditionally we have like a 2 peaked hurricane season for the eastern Caribbean, one about now and one early-mid September (see this page, which I really have to update someday...). So don't call this a slow season yet! -Gert
Saturday, August 3, 2019 20:07PM EDT
- The fizzling 96L
Check also the track forecast from ral.ucar.edu and accompanying intensity guidance above for the latest developments. Regardless what I say here, we still need to track this one, because you never know... -Gert
Tuesday, July 30, 2019 21:08PM EDT
- 96L soon
Wednesday, July 10, 2019 09:25AM EDT
- 92L and a bit more
The authors think that the increase has to do with higher nutrient (nitrate and/or phosphate, similar to what is in fertilizer) input to the ocean. They see correlations with increased upwelling off West Africa (bringing nutrient rich deep ocean water to the surface) and increased nutrient load of the Amazon River, due to deforestation and increased fertilizer use in Brazil.. Also, if a lot of Sargassum survives the previous winter, it will also make it a bad Sargassum year. Unfortunately they don't think it is going to get much better in the future. They also propose a method to predict how bad "the Sargassum season" (it peaks in July) is going to be a few months ahead. Read the full article here, it is pretty easy to follow, not too "sciency".
In hurricane news... There is an area of disturbed weather in the southeastern US (Georgia/Alabama) that is moving south. It might become something one it enters the Gulf of Mexico. The Caribbean islands are not threatened. -Gert
|- - - Sargassum distribution July 2018 - - -|
Saturday, June 1, 2019 09:08AM EDT
- New season starts with #2
The list of names for 2019 is as follows: Name Pronunciation Name Pronunciation ------------------------------------------------------------- Andrea AN-dree-uh Lorenzo loh-REN-zoh Barry BAIR-ree Melissa meh-LIH-suh Chantal shahn-TAHL Nestor NES-tor Dorian DOR-ee-an Olga OAL-guh Erin AIR-rin Pablo PAHB-lo Fernand fair-NAHN Rebekah reh-BEH-kuh Gabrielle ga-bree-ELL Sebastien suh-BASH-chuhn Humberto oom-BAIR-toh Tanya TAHN-yuh Imelda ee-MEHL-dah Van van Jerry JEHR-ee Wendy WEN-dee Karen KAIR-ren
They do note that even though an El Nino is going on which normally suppresses hurricane activity, the above normal sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean plus an enhanced west African monsoon kind of cancels out the 'negative' impact of the El Nino.
With the better satellites up in space hurricane forecast models should become better. NOAA's GFS weather model has gotten a major upgrade as well. Models have been getting very good at predicting the path of the storm. Intensity is another story. We have seen many times in the last couple of years that seemingly tame hurricanes all of a sudden became Cat-5 monsters. Last but not least, NOAA's National Hurricane Center and weather office in San Juan will this year also issue coastal storm surge watches for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. I am actually surprised that they hadn't so far...
So, only a few days left for the official start, we already had one storm, now is a good time to start your preparations.... You know what to do, you have been through it before! Just don't wait for the last moment. -Gert
This is my 24th year of doing this! I started in 1996, 2 years before Google started, and when 'blogging' was not even a word. Maybe for its 25th anniversary I will change the look of this website and give it more 'modern' feel :-). Making the website ready for a new year involves moving a lot of files around, updating some scripts that download/process images, advisories, and making sure that my special tools will keep working. Hopefully I didn't break anything :-). In any case, welcome again to a new season. Hope that it will be a boring one! Also, don't forget that in order for me to keep the website running I am dependent on donations from you... -Gert
Tuesday, May 14, 2019 18:23PM EDT
- New Season
The big question mark is as usually if El Nino conditions occur this Summer, which suppresses hurricane formation and strengthening. Right now we are in an El Nino, and although models are all over the place, most predict that the El Nino will still be there later this year. Good for us! Also, sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic are a bit below normal, which is good as well.
They also issued an Excel spreadsheet with landfall probabilities for the Caribbean and Central America region. Below is the top 7 of the chance that at least one tropical storm (TS), hurricane (H) or major hurricane (MH) will track within 50 miles. I sorted the list by hurricane.
Region TS H MH Bahamas, The 68% 41% 22% Cuba 66% 40% 20% Mexico 74% 40% 14% Dominican Republic 40% 24% 8% Haiti 35% 19% 9% Antigua and Barbuda 32% 19% 7% Cayman Islands 32% 19% 7%
As always, take these forecasts not too serious. They are not set in stone for sure, esp. the April forecast has modest skill. Nevertheless, it is nice to hear that it will probably be an about normal season, better than a forecast that predicts a highly active season. In any case, keep in mind that just one hurricane in your backyard will spoil your whole season! We still have to prepare as best as we can. A good time to start checking your hurricane shutters, possible flying/falling hazards around your house, emergency supplies, etc., is now. -Gert
Maintained & moderated by: Gert van Dijken (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Weather discussions also by Dave McDermott, St.Thomas, USVI.
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