A Tropical Storm in the Caribbean? Too Earl-y to Say For Sure

A tropical disturbance southeast of Jamaica could become Tropical Storm Early on Tuesday. Loop provided by NOAA.

Now that we’re in August, the tropics are starting to get active all around the world. We’ll take a look at all of the systems out there, starting close to home.

A strong tropical wave is centered about 200 miles southeast of Kingston, Jamaica late this evening. The system is producing heavy rain and gusty winds across parts of the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Jamaica, and these conditions will spread into the Cayman Islands on Tuesday. Although the system looks pretty good in satellite photos, it does not have a closed circulation as of yet. Once that occurs, the system will likely be upgraded to Tropical Storm Early.An Air Force Reserve Reconnaissance Aircraft will investigate the storm early on Tuesday to see if that has happened.

Computer model forecasts for the track of a tropical disturbance in the Caribbean. Image provided by Tropical Tidbits.
Computer model forecasts for the intensity of a tropical disturbance in the Caribbean. Image provided by Tropical Tidbits.

Whether or not the system develops, it should continue to move in a general westward direction at a fairly fast pace for the next few days. The system will likely move across the Yucatan or Belize towards midweek. After that, if it moves into the Bay of Campeche it could strengthen some more before hitting Mexico again late in the week. One thing that is likely is that heavy rainfall will lead to flash flooding and mudslides across pparts of the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Jamaica through Tuesday, and parts of the Yucatan and Belize later this week. For the latter locations, rainfall totals of 8-15 inches are possible, which some heavier amounts not ruled out.

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Satellite loop of Tropical Storm Howard. Loop provided by NOAA.

In the Eastern Pacific Ocean, Tropical Storm Howard is centered about 1125 miles west-southwest of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico late this evening. Howard has maximum sustained winds near 50 mph, and is moving towards the west-northwest at 14 mph. Howard is expected to continue moving toward the west-northwest or west over the next few days while steadily weakening as it moves over colder waters.

A little to east of Howard, a cluster of thunderstorms well southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico is being watched for development. Conditions look favorable for this system to develop over the next few days and it could become a tropical depression later this week. Forecast models show some steady strengthening through the week, and if the system gathers enough strength, it will be named Ivette.

Computer model forecasts for the track of a tropical disturbance in the Eastern Pacific. Image provided by NCAR.
Computer model forecasts for the intensity of a tropical disturbance in the Eastern Pacific. Image provided by NCAR.

In the Western Pacific Ocean, Typhoon 06W (Nida), made landfall very close to Hong Kong earlier on Tuesday. After lashing the northern Philippines with up to 10 inches of rain on Sunday, Nida took aim at Hong Kong on Monday. It made landfall in the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday just east of Hong Kong, producing a wind gust to 64 mph at Hong Kong International Airport, and a gust to 94 mph at Ngong Ping. Nida will continue to move inland on wednesday while dissipating. Rainfall totals of 6-12 inches are possible in the region, likely leading to flooding in some areas.

Satellite loop of Typhoon Nida. Loop provided by NOAA.



Weekly Outlook August 1-7, 2016

August has arrived, and typically, this means the “Dog Days of Summer”. The next few days though will not feel like that around here. Oh sure, heat could make a comeback late in the week, but even then, it will be short-lived.

Total rainfall for the month of July. Image provided by WeatherBell.

After one of the driest Julys on record across the region, we’re going to start August off with some rainfall. Oh, it won’t be a lot, in fact, it’ll probably be precious little in many places, but right now, we need all that we can get. A frontal system is stalled out south of the region, and a wave of low pressure will ride along it. This will give us clouds, cool temperatures, and some showers for Monday and early Tuesday. Once the wave moves by, high pressure builds in, with drier weather for much of the remainder of the week. Temperatures will trend upwards once again, with some 90-degree readings possible late in the week. By Saturday, another cold front will be coming through, with showers and thunderstorms possible. High pressure brings drier weather again for the end of the weekend.

Rainfall forecast through Tuesday evening from the GFS model. Doesn’t look like much for our area, does it? Image provided by WeatherBell.

The other thing that August is known for is the tropics getting more active. We’ll get into more details on that with a blog post in another day or two, but currently we have a typhoon heading directly toward Hong Kong and a Tropical Depression in the Eastern Pacific. We are also watching a system in the Bay of Bengal that could threaten India, another system southwest of Mexico, and a system moving across the Caribbean. The latter one could threaten the Yucatan or Central America later this week.

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Heading to Jamaica this week? Pay attention to what this does over the next day or two. Loop provided by NOAA.

Monday: Plenty of clouds with occasional showers possible. High 71-78.

Monday night: Mostly cloudy with a chance for a shower or two. Low 59-66.

Tuesday: Chance of showers early, then partial sunshine develops in the afternoon. High 72-79.

Tuesday night: Clearing skies. Low 55-62.

Wednesday: Sunshine and a few clouds. High 76-83.

Thursday: Partly to mostly sunny. High 80-87.

Friday: A mix of sun and clouds. High 85-92.

Saturday: Partly sunny with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. High 86-93.

Sunday: Becoming partly to mostly sunny. High 80-87.

For those interested in learning more the weather – the 17th annual Southern New England Weather Conference will take place on Saturday October, 29, 2016. Registration for the conference is now open. The conference is open to all, meteorologists and weather enthusiasts. Some of this year’s topics include the 25th anniversary of both Hurricane Bob and “The Perfect Storm”, how El Nino impacts New England, and Tornadoes in New England. If you’re interested, visit the website for all of the details and to register.