September 28, 2020

Deep convection very near the Cayman Islands could develop


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On Wednesday (20) Rob Lightbown of Crown Weather gave this report:

Early morning analysis shows an area of deep convection very near the Cayman Islands. This convection is being caused by a trough of low pressure that extends from western Cuba to the northwestern coast of Honduras. Additionally, radar loops from western Cuba shows a possible low pressure system developing near the Isle of Pines. Should the low pressure system continue to develop today and that deep convection persists, then I think we will see this system classified as a Invest

All of this activity now in the northwestern Caribbean is expected to push into the Gulf of Mexico over the next couple of days and be located somewhere over the central or west-central Gulf of Mexico by Friday into Saturday. By that time, this system will find itself in a more favourable environment to slowly develop.

The overall forecast guidance has done a complete 180 in its forecast. The GFS ensemble guidance forecasts a low pressure system to be located just north of the Yucatan Peninsula by Saturday morning while the GFS operational model has the low forecasted to be located to the northeast of the Yucatan Peninsula.

By Sunday morning, the GFS ensemble guidance starts to diverge and is a clear indicator of the uncertainty in the forecast track of this potential tropical entity. The GFS operational model forecasts that this system will track northeastward across northern Florida (instead of a western Gulf system) during the day Sunday.

The Canadian model ends up bringing this storm into the Pensacola, FL area as soon as Monday morning, while the European model is stronger with this Gulf system and forecasts it to head northeastward across north Florida by Monday night into Tuesday.

So, this 180 degree change in the overall forecast guidance and their track of this Gulf system has thrown a monkey wrench into the forecast. These model trends will be watched closely over the coming days. I do think that this will end up becoming Tropical Storm Debby by the weekend and I’m not sure I buy into the 180 degree change in the forecast guidance.

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Further to the above: this story on the same subject appeared on the Bloomberg Buisinessweek website:

Forecasters are tracking a potential tropical system that may bring heavy rains and flooding from the Bahamas to the Cayman Islands.

The disturbance, spread through the northwestern Caribbean, has a 20 percent chance of organizing and strengthening into a tropical depression or storm in the next two days as it moves northwest into the Gulf of Mexico, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

“Heavy rainfall is likely across the Cayman Islands, Cuba, the Bahamas and southern Florida over the next couple of days,” according to a hurricane center advisory. “Flooding is possible in these areas, especially in Cuba, where the ground is already saturated from heavy rainfall over the past several weeks.”

The center is also tracking Tropical Storm Chris, which may strengthen slightly, in the North Atlantic. Chris is the third named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, which officially began June 1. The other two storms, which received named when their winds reached 39 miles (63 kilometers) an hour, were in May.

Three storms don’t usually develop in the Atlantic so early, Jeff Masters, co-founder of Weather Underground Inc. in Ann Arbor, Michigan, wrote in his blog today. In 1887 and 1959, three storms formed before June 20, he wrote.

Chris was located 605 miles south-southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland, at 5 p.m. New York time, according to the hurricane center. Its top winds were 60 mph, up from 45 mph earlier in today, and no more growth was forecast. The storm is expected to remain in the Atlantic, far from land, and break up over the weekend.

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The forecast from Cayman Islands National Weather Service calls today for:

Cloudy skies, with a 30% chance of showers and thunder. Temperatures will rise to the mid 80’s. Winds will be southeast 10 to 15 knots. Seas will be moderate with wave heights of 3 to 5 feet. Gusty wind winds and rough seas are likely near showers.


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