Caribbean Hurricane Network

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2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season
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Active Tropical Systems: Tropical Storm Bertha
Atlantic Hurricane Season is from June 1 - November 30


GOES Satellite - Zoomed in on the Caribbean (03:45 UTC, 44 minutes ago)
Vertical gridlines 10° or about 650 miles (~1050 km) apart. [more satellite imagery].

Bertha tools:

Friday, August 1, 2014 12:00PM EDT - Chugging Bertha

Good morning!

Just a quick update on the now hard charging Bertha, about 70 miles NE of Barbados moving WNW at 21 mph. Bertha is a fighter having made the upgrade to TS status last night but having a hard time keeping her top on! Westerly wind shear is playing havoc with the west side of the system and an exposed COC (center of circulation) is very evident; almost way out in front of the convection which some of it is.

HH found 50 mph sustained winds but not much further strengthening is forecast due to the relentless shear. At least not in the near term. Most of the convection and sustained wind action is in the North and East quadrants which means the NE Antilles should reap beneficial rains but at a cost of flooding.

The middle Windwards will get a smack from Bertha and then she enters the Caribbean with a bit warmer SSTs so it wouldn't surprise me if she made 60 mph eventually. Using the extrapolation tool provided by Gert, the center is expected to pass about 64 miles at its closest approach to St. Croix and less than 100 miles from St. Thomas. The TS force winds stretch out 115 miles so Virgin Islanders, do the math. I actually think it will get a little closer as it has shifted a few degrees over the last few hours.

I'll have more on what to look for down the road but Hispaniola and Puerto Rico should receive good rains too, more so Puerto Rico. Then T&C and the Bahamas, if she survives, should be very ready. That Gulf Stream is very warm.

Dave 

Thursday, July 31, 2014 08:39AM EDT - Birthing Bertha

Good morning all!!

93L is still lumbering along the Atlantic bowling alley approximately 625 miles east of the Windward Islands moving a not so consistent W to WNW. It has not consistently started to move WNW yet and if it doesn't start to by noon, then it will probably pass farther south than forecast. The ridge off to the west is not helping 93L turn nor is the fact it hasn't significantly strengthened yet.

Sometime today 93L should be upgraded to TD status. I was looking at the 11 am or even 2pm advisory at the latest for the upgrade but the NHC might wait until Air Force recon (Hurricane Hunters) flies in this afternoon. Thunderstorms and shower activity have increased and a middle level circulation is indicated while a satellite pass over earlier revealed 30-35 mph winds north of the center.

Its all looking like a 45-55 mph tropical storm in a few days with heavy rains over a 5-7 hour period of 3-7 inches over the NE islands from Antigua to the BVIs and USVI and the eastern half of Puerto Rico with El Yunque wringing out up to 10 inches! Only IF it turns as anticipated. If not, the southerly track will be the alternative.

Regardless you might want to take your awnings down and stow your light deck furniture as these become flying missiles. Take care of your pets and check on those less able to help themselves. Boaters, we all know how things can turn nasty quickly so judge accordingly. Tomorrow afternoon, ahead of the storm will be the usual sinking air (subsidence) that appears as a storm approaches. We'll know a lot more about the track and intensity by then.

Dave

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 11:09AM EDT - Probable Bertha

Good morning!!

I am back, just in time, from my trek to the UK for my nieces wedding and time in Florida for the probable arrival of Bertha. Now spinning pretty decently around 10N 40W and moving mainly west at 10-15 mph, it remains to be seen just in what form Bertha will knock on our door here in the NE Caribbean.

Will she arrive as a hurricane, tropical storm, tropical depression, or a bust imitator of TD#2? The reliable models mainly are on the TS bandwagon. Intensity models have a hurricane within 3 days after reaching TD status. There are factors for and against and as usual, since the storm is not organized, the models have a rough time in their forecasts.

The now factors are dry Saharan Dust infiltration from the north, elevated wind shear, and cooler SSTs Sea Surface Temperatures) which we know is the fuel any tropical system needs in the first place to develop. They are around 80.6 degrees in the area which is marginal. This plus the above factors are why the thunderstorm activity has decreased. One other factor to take into account is its proximity to the ITCZ. If it doesn't break away from that, it will not genesis.Still, with all these issues, it looks pretty healthy, especially on visible animated satellite imagery.

The future factors are a moister environment ahead, much lower wind shear, warmer SSTs and the earths spin which should help 93L break away from the draconian grip of the ITCZ. This should lead to development as a named system (TS Bertha) by Friday.

The slower it takes for cyclogenesis to occur, the further south it stays moving mainly west. If it does strengthen, then it will start to take a NW component and there currently are no forecast troughs or high pressure ridges to keep it flatlined.

Around here in the Virgin Islands and the rest of the NE Caribbean the drought is reaching severe. June 2014 was the driest month ever since records have been kept. Sure, some parts of the islands have seen some rain but nothing widespread or lengthy. Water trucks are rampant and it seems they are competing with the already too many taxis for available road space! I'm sure July will compete with June. Will 93L (at the moment) be a drought buster? Many are hoping this is manifest so. One problem with that is too much rain at once on parched ground which will not be able soak it up as fast as it falls leading to flash flooding and coral killing runoff.

Either way time will tell. Things should heat up in the month of August and preparations should start now if not already in motion.

Dave

Monday, July 28, 2014 08:13AM PDT - A new invest
There is a new area of disturbed weather, referred to as Invest 93L. It is in the far eastern Atlantic and pretty far south, so it will take a few days before it reaches the islands. Unlike our last depression this one has a high chance of becoming a hurricane. It is still too early to tell if the storm (Bertha by then) will curve north before it reaches the islands. So stay tune!
On another note, the National Hurricane Center has been producing some new graphics. They really clarify the Tropical Weather Outlook (posted in the yellow box below). You can view them by clicking on the 'Accompanying satellite image (pop-up, source: NHC)' link below. Stay safe! -Gert

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 07:02AM PDT - Tropical Depression Two
It has been awhile, but finally we have the second storm of the season. Tropical depression number 2 is currently about 1000 miles east of the islands and moving west. The forecast shows that it is not expected to become a tropical storm but that it will dissipate before it even reaches the islands. Let's hope that scenario holds true, although still a lot of rain might fall when it crosses the island chain. If I extrapolate its current path I estimate the storm to cross around Dominica/Guadeloupe, but that is highly speculative. So, not too threatening, but still have to keep an eye on it. -Gert

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 09:48AM PDT - First storm of the season
It's a month into hurricane season and we finally have our first named storm of the season, Tropical Storm Arthur. It is currently located just north of the Bahamas and slowly moving to the north. Arthur is not threat to the islands but might on its way to the north/north east it might clip the US coast (Cape Hatteras) within 3 days and it might actually be a hurricane by then. Use the tools about to check how close the storm can get to you and more. Stay safe! -Gert

... Older discussions >>

Current Tropical Weather Outlook (NHC/TPC):
Accompanying satellite image (pop-up, source: NHC)
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 PM EDT FRI AUG 1 2014

For the North Atlantic...Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico:

The National Hurricane Center is issuing advisories on Tropical
Storm Bertha, located near the Lesser Antilles.

Tropical cyclone formation is not expected during the next 5 days.

&&

Public Advisories on Tropical Storm Bertha are issued under WMO
header WTNT33 KNHC and under AWIPS header MIATCPAT3.
Forecast/Advisories are issued under WMO header WTNT23 KNHC and
under AWIPS header MIATCMAT3.

$$
Forecaster Brennan
More detail in the Tropical Weather Discussion or view the Graphicast Image

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Latest local updates from the special
hurricane correspondents on the islands:
- Dominica [Aug 2 0:09]
- Nevis [Aug 1 23:13]
- Tortola & Virgin Gorda [Aug 1 21:56]
- Trinidad & Tobago [Aug 1 20:22]
- Montserrat [Aug 1 20:02]
- Antigua [Aug 1 19:07]
- St.Croix [Aug 1 18:26]
- Puerto Rico [Aug 1 17:47]
- Barbados [Aug 1 16:13]
- St.Vincent & Grenadines [Aug 1 16:05]
- St.Lucia [Aug 1 14:25]
- Vieques (PR) [Aug 1 13:03]
- Grenada [Aug 1 13:03]
- St.Thomas [Aug 1 10:19]
- St.Maarten/St.Martin [Aug 1 9:38]
- Bonaire [Aug 1 7:26]
- Culebra (PR) [Aug 1 6:58]
- Anguilla [Jul 31 11:56]
- Aruba [Jul 30 9:10]
- Curaçao [Jul 29 20:02]
- Jamaica [Jul 21 16:35]
- Dominican Republic [Jul 14 9:55]
- Florida Keys [Jul 3 8:22]
- Cayman Islands [Jun 30 21:30]

Only reports received for this season are listed. See the archive for previous years.

Links to excellent websites:
- Navy/NRL Monterey
- WeatherUnderground
- NOAA/NESDIS (floater loops)
- RAMSDIS Imagery
- Caribbean/Atl. buoy data
- RT model guidance (RAL/NCAR)
- STORM2K forum
- Tracking Waves (McNoldy)
- more...

Storm definitions by wind speed:
- Tropical Depression <39mph
- Tropical Storm 39-73mph
- Cat.1 Hurricane 74-95mph
- Cat.2 Hurricane 96-110mph
- Cat.3 Hurricane 111-129mph
- Cat.4 Hurricane 130-156mph
- Cat.5 Hurricane >=157mph
More info in the Practical Guide



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The local hurricane correspondents are the heart and soul of stormCARIB. They are the people who live on the island and write to us what is going on around them. First hand very local personal reports instead of very limited or sensationalized coverage by the general media. Do you live on one of the islands? We need your help! We are looking for more people who are interested in sending us a few paragraphs about the situation on your island before, during and after a storm hits. You don't need to be a weatherman or expert on the subject, just share with us what you know, feel and see on your island. Your help will be really appreciated by Caribbean people living abroad with family living on the islands, future visitors who have their Caribbean dream-vacation booked, etc.etc. Reliable, not-sensationalized information is just so hard to get in crisis situations. Help keep the rest of the world up-to-date with what is really happening! We really need you, Georges back in 1998, and many others since then are proof! If interested, contact gert@gobeach.com.


WHAT TO FIND ON StormCARIB.com:
This website is all about the Caribbean. Here you can find information, weather discussions and local reports regarding tropical systems threatening the Caribbean islands. A central part of this website is the volunteer network of special local hurricane correspondents, living on the islands, who will report, when need be, on how it looks and feels like around them. Above also hopefully easy to understand weather discussions by me and Dave. In addition, as an aid in locating family or friends on the islands in an emergency situation you can post your 'plea for help' on the bulletin board. Also featured on this website is the Quick Hurricane Web Resource Navigator, for easy locating to the least overloaded webserver for National Hurricane Center advisories and the latest satellite images. Another part of the Caribbean Hurricane Network is the 'practical guide' to hurricane tracking with unit conversions, definitions, tips, links, etc. You can also find out how close the storm is and how many hours you have left to prepare plus you can map the closest point of approach of a hurricane to your location. New is the climatology of Caribbean hurricanes section. Find out when the real peak of hurricane season is for individual islands, view hurricane tracks passing by the islands over the last 150+ years. An archive with detailed reports of how the Caribbean islands fared during the 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004 (incl. Frances and Ivan), 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999 (incl. Floyd and Lenny), 1998 (incl. Georges and Mitch), 1997 and 1996 seasons are still available as well. Plus there is more, like storm-centered satellite images, make your own local satellite loop, etc. Hope you find the information on this website (now counting over thousands pages with original content) helpful. Comments always welcome! RSS web feed available. As a side note I am now accepting donations as well. Thanks for visiting!

Maintained & moderated by: Gert van Dijken (gert@gobeach.com).
Weather discussions also by Dave McDermott, St.Thomas, USVI.


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Disclaimer
The information on these pages is derived from weather statements provided by the National Weather Service, the National Hurricane Center, and others, and from hurricane correspondents in the Caribbean. I tried to translate the official weather statements in more layman's terms. Also, I tried to fill the gap in reporting on what is happening in the Caribbean, instead of the US (there are already many other good website which focus on the US). Keep in mind that my statements are my own interpretations from the information available to me. Therefore, use the information at your own risk, and above all, don't use these webpages for making life-or-death decisions, always rely on the official and qualified authorities! Accuracy of eye-witness reports by the special hurricane correspondents have not been checked. They may be highly subjective. The author can not be held responsible for lost property, ruined vacations and the like. Despite all this I hope you found the webpage informative and useful. These pages do not have a commercial intent. GoBeach Vacations provided the means and opportunity to start all this. 'Unfortunately' this website has become too popular, placing too much load on the gobeach.com webservers. Luckily, starting in 2000, my excellent webhost provider, pairNetworks, liked my website so much that they support services whenever they can. Comments are always welcome. Just send a note to gert@gobeach.com. Gert