Caribbean Hurricane Network
- 2 0 0 7 Season -
|| Andrea | Barry | Chantal | Dean | Erin | Felix | Gabrielle | Humberto | Ingrid | Jerry | Karen | Lorenzo | Melissa | Noel | Olga | Pablo | Rebeka | Sebastien | Tanya | Van | Wendy ||
The 2007 season started very early with the first tropical storm forming on May 9! And then on June 1, right on the official start of hurricane season we already had the second one. Both storms didn.t affect the islands. It wasn.t until mid-August that the islands had their first threat with Category 5 Hurricane Dean, which almost spoiled my vacation in the USVI and BVI. It made landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico as a Category 5 Hurricane. This was the first time in 15 years that a Category 5 storm made landfall in the Atlantic basin.
Then another Category 5 Hurricane: Felix. It moved just north of the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao), which are usually pretty safe, then slammed into the Mosquito Coast of Nicaragua with 160mph winds! By itself rare that a Category 5 storms makes landfall, even more rare was that on the same day another hurricane slammed Baja California on the other side in the Pacific. In October Tropical Storm caused heavy flooding in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, killing at least 168 people. Then finally after an early start of the season, the last storm formed on December 10, after the official close of the season!
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The heart of the Caribbean Hurricane Network are the personal reports send in by the special hurricane correspondents on the islands. Find out what happened on your favority island during the 2007 Hurricane Season by following the links below.
- St.Kitts [Apr 25 9:53]|
- Dominica [Apr 25 7:51]
- Grenada [Apr 25 7:27]
- Nevis [Apr 25 6:35]
- Culebra (PR) [Apr 24 8:39]
- Tortola [Apr 24 3:06]
- Jamaica [Apr 23 16:43]
- Bonaire [Apr 23 9:05]
- Cayman Islands [Apr 15 20:06]
- St.Croix [Apr 15 8:27]
- Trinidad & Tobago [Apr 14 23:43]
- Puerto Rico [Apr 11 8:20]
- St.Maarten/St.Martin [Apr 2 20:03]
- Anguilla [Mar 31 10:08]
- Saba [Mar 25 15:42]
- Barbados [Mar 23 10:58]
- Dominican Republic [Mar 22 9:55]
- Montserrat [Mar 21 17:10]
- Antigua [Mar 21 16:21]
- Aruba [Mar 21 12:01]
- Guadeloupe [Mar 20 18:46]
- St.Lucia [Mar 19 16:55]
- St.Vincent & Grenadines [Mar 18 20:16]
- St.Thomas [Mar 18 10:39]
- Curaçao [Mar 9 18:38]
- Statia [Jan 21 7:07]
- Honduras [Dec 31 16:53]
- St.John [Dec 15 0:00]
- Belize [Dec 12 8:42]
- Turks & Caicos [Dec 11 6:18]
- Martinique [Dec 10 17:31]
- Bermuda [Nov 3 15:50]
- Bahamas [Nov 3 2:02]
- Haiti [Oct 13 14:02]
- St.Barts [Sep 25 19:58]
- Vieques (PR) [Sep 9 9:08]
- Mexico (incl. Cozumel & Cancun) [Sep 2 18:04]
- General Update [Aug 22 19:35]
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 information on specific storms, I have found the 2007 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 2006 storms (incl. the not named one). The track map below is from that website as well.
- - 2007 Hurricane Tracks - -
- - Source: NOAA/AOML Hurricane Research Division (click on image for larger size) - -
|- - - 2 0 0 7 Atlantic Hurricane Season - - -|
Note that reports are in reverse chronological order. It's easiest to start at the bottom and scroll upwards.
Sun, 9 Mar 2008 17:14:12 -0400 - March
Breezy and not as dry as it usually is for the Lenten season as the Virgin
Islands are still a decent shade of green compared to years past at this
time. Huge, strong high pressure systems off the eastern coast of the US
has provided major wave action, seemingly continuous small craft
advisories, and plenty of sunshine with intermittent patches of clouds and
imbedded light "nuisance" showers passing overhead. Most long-time
residents are still squawking about it being cold, especially at night but
if 72 degrees is cold, hmmmmmm....I'm sure there is a few million people
willing to disagree with that in the Northeast and Midwest!
Still quiet otherwise with cruise ship season about to wind down next
month. WOW, I'll actually get a whole day off soon!!! Then, a brief break
after April and then, it's hurricane season 2008 so be thinking about
early preparations this year. We never know what type of season to expect
so we have to prepare for the worst. Sorry to bring this up so early
Have a great week!!
Fri, 15 Feb 2008 07:30:23 -0400 (AST) - February
Good morning! Hope all enjoyed Valentine's Day yesterday but I believe the whole weekend is Valentine's Day! (one of the world's last hopeless romantics!) Quiet is how we can describe our current weather pattern. Cool nights (72-76) at sea level with cooler temps in the mountains here in the Virgin islands. Ocean water temps are cool as well (77-80) for the Northeastern Caribbean and the pools at the resorts, well, let's just say I thought I would never lose my breath down here due to cold water! Hey, it's obviously way better than the Midwest and Northeast where I used to be a member of the Polar Bear Club! I wonder how thick the ice is at International Falls, MN where the AIR temperature this morning was -21F! Wind chill was -38F @ 5:00 am. Wave heights have been rough on boaters, both recreational and commercial as high pressure (yesterday was 1037 mb)keeps the pressure gradient up across the islands. Most of my sailor friends say the visitors are loving it while the boats are taking a bit of a beating. My ONDECK friends seem to live for the thrill of it though! Mostly sunny skies with passing clouds and the occassional quick shower have been the norm and we haven't quite seen yet the real dry conditions normally and historically seen during Lent. We have only officially recorded .71 inches @ the official recording station at the airport on STT but other areas, especially St. Croix, have received over an inch. Have a safe and fun weekend all!! Dave
Sun, 20 Jan 2008 08:10:14 -0400 (AST) - Cold?
Good morning! Everyone who's blood is thin from living here in the Caribbean too long and even some visitors are commenting on how "cold" it is. Have you looked at the weather lately? If 75 degrees is "cold", then I've been mislead all my life! Take a look at Chicago this morning: -2 F with a wind chill of -29F! Now, that's what I call cold. I realize the geographical difference in the two places is obvious to most people (hey, believe it or not, some people do not know where the Virgin Islands are)but still. I guess after 18 years, my blood hasn't thinned out quite as much! LOL... Our sea level temperatures for this time of year are around 74F to 83F which is quite comfortable coupled with the low humidity. Higher terrain means cooler temperatures (it could easily be 66F in the morning on top of Crown mountain)and rainfall is quick and scattered although we have had a wetter January than most so far. Who wants to go swinmmimg? Now here's where almost everyone agrees it's cold: 79F for ocean surface temp. Definitely not the polar bear club temps I was used to up growing up in the Finger Lakes Region of New York but it still has an effect on some body parts initially. After a couple of minutes though,it becomes very refreshing and then you lay back and think warm thoughts about your friends and relatives in Buffalo, Detroit, Green Bay, Chicago and the fact, that could be you! The one good thing about that kind of cold is there are no *&*%$@# mosquitos!!!! Dave
Tue, 1 Jan 2008 12:59:52 -0400 (AST) - New Year
Happy New Years to everybody!! Mother Nature had one last gasp a couple of days ago in the Central Atlantic but it petered out and so ends the 2007 storm season. Officially ending on Nov. 30th, we still have seen some activity through the holidays the last few years but that is over now in our hemisphere. The place to watch now is the Indian Ocean and around north Austrailia plus the southern Western Pacific. After the holidays, it wouldn't be a bad thing to check the dates on your 2007 storm supplies. After all, June 1st is only 152 days away!! Dave
Thursday, December 13, 2007, 9:05AM PST - The End (?)
Olga has degenerated into a broad area of low pressure, so hopefully the season is really over now! The tally for this year was 15 named storms of which 6 were hurricanes. The forecast for next year (Klotzbach & Gray) is 13 tropical storms, 7 jof these will reach hurricane strength, 3 of these are expected to become 'major' ones. Above normal (again). -Gert
Monday, December 10, 2007, 8:40PM PST - Olga
When you think it is over... tropical storm warnings have been issued for the Dominican Republic, because here we have (sup)tropical storm Olga! Although the center is just north of Puerto Rico no watches or warnings have been issued, I guess they figure hurricane season is over. It is not expected to be a hurricane, but lots of rain is expected again in the Hispaniola. However, not as bad as Noel since it is moving faster. Sorry about the old satellite image above. The server at NASA (http://wwwghcc.msfc.nasa.gov/GOES/) still hasn't been fixed, other (up to date) imagery on my satellite page... -Gert
Mon, 10 Dec 2007 07:30:34 -0400 (AST) - December Fool!
Good morning! I was planning to send a missive this morning anyway but this one is now more about Invest 94 than the holidays! Mother nature has decided, in her infinite wisdom, to prove all the pundits wrong who said all tropical activity was over for the season weeks ago by stirring up the Atlantic one more time. As we all know December storms are quite rare normally but we've had a few years lately with holiday activity. Only forecast to possibly turn into a tropical system "IF" it reaches the Gulf of Mexico relatively intact, Invest 94 none-the-less is expected to bring showers, blustery winds, high surf advisories, and even December thunderstorms to the Northern Leeward Islands. I haven't seen the news yet but the word is through the coconut telegraph a Virgin Atlantic 747 skidded on the runway at Antigua's Lester Bird airport possibly caused by wind shear from this system. Hopefully, our Antiguan correspondent can shed some light on this. Rain clumps have been moving through St. Thomas fairly regularly with wind gusts to 36 mph this morning. Rainfall amounts aren't that much due to the speed of the winds but the amounts which have fallen are still beneficial. 1-2 inches is expected today and that's probable later this afternoon. Moving west around 20 mph, Invest 94 will still take a few days to get out of our area as it is quite elongated so winds and seas will still be "happenin!" In the "Oh my Godda Passage" (Anegada), seas are running 11-14 feet!! This looks to be hurricane season 2007's parting shot. It may even be a warning shot across the bow for next season only 6 1/2 months away as another active season is forecast. Let's hope wind shear has kept us on it's Christmas Card list and will be our friend again next season. For those of you flying to the mainland, there's very bumpy skies between here and Miami and if your headed to Chicago or St. Louis in the next few days, take your ice scraper with you if you still know what one looks like! Happy and safe Holidays! Dave
Friday, December 7, 2007, 1:50PM PST - Recap plus looking forward...
The 2007 Atlantic Hurricane Season is over, with 14 named storms, of which 6 were hurricanes. Initially there were 5 hurricanes, but the Hurricane Center upgraded Karen from a tropical storm to a hurricane. Six hurricanes is also the long term average. This year a lot of the hurricanes were short lived without causing any problems. There were two Category 5 hurricanes; Dean made landfall in the Yucatan and Felix in Nicaragua (Moskito Coast). Hurricane Noel was the most deadliest this year, killing more then 150 people in Hispaniola. Many more details can be found on (in?) the Wikipedia and in the local reports on this website of course..
Today hurricane forecasters Klotzbach & Gray of Colorado State University issued their first forecast for the 2008 season. And the numbers are.... 13 named storms (9.6 is normal), 7 hurricanes (5.9 is normal) of which 3 will become 'big ones' (Category 3 and up, 2.3 is normal). So it is a bit above average again, we are getting used to that. Apparently La Nina isn't weakening fast enough (during El Nino years there are usually less hurricanes) and sea surface temperatures are up. Read the full report on the Colorado State website. -Gert
Thursday, November 29, 2007, 4:40PM PST - Did you feel it?
You can help scientific research at the USGS by filling out a little form with your experiences. Over a 1000 people have reported already (see statistics). -Gert
Thursday, November 29, 2007, 12:41PM PST - News and no tsunami
We have had updates on this website minutes after the earthquake..., now some news reports are starting to pour in: Google-news. Btw, no tsunami is expected due to the depth of earthquake. It is also 'upgraded' to a 7.4 on the Richter Scale. -Gert
Thursday, November 29, 2007, 11:20AM PST - Earthquake
A 7.3 earthquake struck the Caribbean 20 minutes ago. About 20 kilometers from Martinique, in between Martinique and Dominica. Details: USGS.gov. No 'news' yet. -Gert
Wednesday, November 28, 2007, 7:45AM PST - Almost over!
A news release being welcomed by all in the Caribbean... A recap of this Atlantic hurricane season. Very focused on the US, since it doesn't even mention Dean, Felix or Noel... And mild? I don't think the people in Mexico, Nicaragua or the Dominican Republic would agree... Read more: ap.google.com. -Gert
Saturday, November 17, 2007, 11:45AM PST - Bangladesh
Dave mentioned Sidr below, the death toll in Bangladesh now stands at 1,723! More news on Google-News. Great to read about Dave's relief effort for the Dominican Republic. -Gert
Sat, 17 Nov 2007 09:57:38 -0400 (AST) - The DR and Bangladesh
Good morning! While the DR is still recovering from Noel, Bangladesh took a brutal pounding from TC Sidr but the death toll could have been much worse even now. Unfortunately, there will be many more deaths reported in the coming days as rescue workers reach remote areas and debris is removed. Fortunately, over 650,000 were evacuated from it's low-lying coastline which lessened dramatically the human toll; a lesson learned from the 1991 Cat 5 storm. Meanwhile, the effects of the flooding in the DR continue. I do have some good news to report though regarding relief supplies. The company I work for, Deliver It Inc., has taken delivery of 100 mattresses and pillows from a well-respected cruise line for which we are the agents, and donated them to a local DR relief drive! I expect to deliver to them around 360 more later this month! Definitely only a pinhead but at least some people who lost everything can have a bed and pillow at night for their kids if not also for themselves. Local weather is hazy with some clouds expected later and tomorrow due to a weak wave passage. Cooling down a bit (low to mid 80') for highs and mid to high 70's for lows. Hey, check out the temps this week in New York! Where would you rather be??? Thanksgiving is a traditional American Holiday but by no means should just Americans celebrate and give thanks. We ALL have a lot to be thankful for! Dave
Sun, 11 Nov 2007 14:13:10 -0400 (AST) - Holy Blobbette's Batman!
Good afternoon! A quiet, warm, sunny with a few clouds Sunday afternoon here in the territory with not much weather-wise going on at the moment. Invest 93l over by Costa Rica is running out of time, the Gulf of Mexico'c SST's (Sea Surface Temperatures) have quickly fallen but are still capable, though not as potent, the Central Caribbean has a L-word -ish appearance but should not form into anything serious while off to the East, low and behold, an ugly, broad-in-scale blobbete has shown up off the coast of Africa. I think it's a late Halloween prank to scare some people late in the season but hey, that means they are paying attention still!! Monserrat has disgorged large amounts of ash but most of that cloud should pass to the south of St. Croix while moisture from that old frontal boundary swooping slowly in from the northwest has encouraged plenty of moisture with a decent humidity level. Other than that, dengue fever (usually a mild form of malaria with some strains fatal) has erupted across several countries in the Caribbean. Those nasty mosquitoes (3 just died in my office the last 5 minutes) are to blame with all of the rainfall we have had. Please empty all standing water around your home and workplace. While we can't ever get rid of them (see definition of cockroach), we can slow them down. Dave
Wed, 31 Oct 2007 06:53:52 -0400 (AST) - More Noel
Good morning! TS Noel, after playing an evil "trick" on the Dominican Republic and to a much smaller extent, Haiti and Puerto Rico, is turning now as forecasted more to the NNW and eventually NE under the influence of strong westerly winds; the same winds which will keep South Florida from receiving some much needed drought reducing rains although 1-3 inches are forecast. I have not heard much about what has transpired in Haiti as of yet so the damage there could be much higher than we think. It already is in the DR according to our correspondent there (see latest post). The Bahamas, depending on forward speed which should pick up once Noel has completely changed course, should expect 7-11 inches. Then, it's on to Bermuda for an early November visit and after that, a powerful gale storm in the North Atlantic. Otherwise, things are pretty quiet. Dave
Tuesday, October 30, 2007, 9:15PM EDT - Rain does it again...
Latest reports suggest that at least 38 people were killed in floods and landslides triggered by Noel. The Dominican Republic was hardest hit. Again, this shows again that rain is often the biggest threat with tropical systems. Right now the center is over Cuba and the outer bands of the storm are moving over the Turks and Caicos and Bahamas. It is again drifting at a mere 4mph, so be prepared for a lot of rain. There is one outer band with lots of rain still affecting the Dominican Republic (see satellite image above, which I refocused a bit on Noel) so it is still not looking good... For more news check out Google-News. -Gert
Monday, October 29, 2007, 1:20PM EDT - Rain, Rain, Rain
Maybe 'just' a tropical storm, but Noel is producting a lot of rain in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. At least it is moving now, so hopefully it will stop raining soon. Below a quote from the latest advisory, which speaks for itself. -Gert.
NOEL IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 10 TO 20 INCHES OVER HISPANIOLA...WITH POSSIBLE ISOLATED MAXIMUM TOTALS OF 30 INCHES. TOTAL ACCUMULATIONS OF 8 TO 12 INCHES...WITH POSSIBLE MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 20 INCHES...ARE POSSIBLE OVER SOUTHEASTERN CUBA. RAINFALL TOTALS OF 5 TO 10 INCHES...WITH MAXIMUM TOTALS OF 15 INCHES...ARE POSSIBLE ACROSS THE CENTRAL AND SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS. ADDITIONAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 3 TO 5 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE OVER PUERTO RICO THROUGH TUESDAY MORNING. THESE RAINS... PARTICULARLY IN HISPANIOLA...ARE EXPECTED TO CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES.
Sun, 28 Oct 2007 20:03:10 -0400 (AST) - TS Noel
Good evening... I had already written and almost finished my post when I decided to check one last time on our San Juan radar. I subsequently lost my post of several paragraphs so this will be short as I am not a happy camper and if anyone actually did camp this weekend, I hope their tent was leak-proof and on stilts! TS Noel (pronounce knoll, another guy named storm wreaking havoc this season) is just south of the DR and Haitian border and is about to conjure up very bad memories of Hurricane Jeanne which killed around 3,000 people. Winds are around 60 mph sustained making it a strong TS and it might make Cat 1 hurricane status by the time it reaches Cuba. AHHH, time I said. This system is moving WNW at a paltry 6 mph and with cloud tops reaching 75-80,000 feet, the potential for massive flooding and mudslides is a grave reality in the mountainous terrain of the DR and Puerto Rico, along with the denuded forests/mountains of Haiti. Already, several deaths have been reported in Puerto Rico due to mudslides and flash flood watches and warnings abound. If you check the latest radar, (I'll do that AFTER I post this), more rain is on the way for the Virgin Islands but the Christmas Tree lights of the radar are zoomed in on Puerto Rico and points west. The tales I had to tell today about wet-vaccing, a generator rejuvenated, the famous (I think only to me) towel brigade, WAPA, Virgin Islands drivers who should be committed, and my wet dog who I actually thought was smart enough to stay dry pale in comparison as to what is going to happen and is happening now in those countries and Puerto Rico. My prayers are with all of those affected...... Here right now, a light drizzle is falling and it's time to go home and get ready for tomorrow. Hopefully, the next two days will not be a sad start to the upcoming holiday season... Dave
Sat, 27 Oct 2007 12:37:23 -0400 (AST) - More soon come!!
Good afternoon! Just a quick update! Gray, rainy, overcast with more rain, some heavy according to the radar, on the near horizon to our south and east. St. Croix is getting pounded and hey Isabel, I liked the music! Flash Flood Warnings have replaced Flash Flood Watches for the next few hours for the whole US Virgin Islands. I wonder what the floors of my house look like right now.... High and dry or wet-vac candidates? Uugh! Patchy fog is misting over the mountaintops and for a while earlier, the rain fell so hard you couldn't see Water Island (appropriately named if even for today) from Crown Bay Marina, a distance of maybe 1/4 mile across the channel! On a weird note, WAPA (our local water and power authority) hasn't gone out yet this morning, at least on my working end of the island. I'm probably jinxing myself for when I get home and the successful wet-vac candidates greet me at my door, well, you get the picture! More towels please!!! Dave
Sat, 27 Oct 2007 09:06:35 -0400 (AST) - Very wet!
Good morning! Well, I was about 24 hours off from my previous post concerning flooding rains but they have arrived between yesterday and this morning with up unofficial reports of up to 6 inches on St. Croix and 4 inches St. Thomas, St. John and Water Island. Yet, many drive like it is still dry and just plow through the water carelessly. I've seen 3 accidents already on my way to work as, with no power at home, might as well come to work! The run-off is terrible and DPNR is advising no swimming in the ocean off the beaches due to pollutants running down the hillsides into the ocean, not to mention the construction crews negligent run-off due to not mitigating their sites from run-off potential. The sea is an ugly brown all around our coastlines but as the system moves away over the next 24-36 hours, water quality will improve once again but not for our delicate coral reefs. The possibilities still exist for this wide-ranging low to develop in the next few days and it is moving towards westward towards an area better suited for development with warm ocean waters and less hostile wind shear. The big, red blob over by the west coast of Florida has potential as well and appears to have consolidated overnight. Off to the east, it's pretty quiet as well as it should be. My towel brigade saved me this morning and thankfully, I don't need a bucket brigade anymore. Slowly, the leaks will be found!! Drive safely and carefully if you have to go out in this stuff!! Dave
Wed, 24 Oct 2007 16:21:50 -0400 (AST) - Late season development close-by
Good afternoon! Long time no write! Been super busy not being SuperDave on TV. I think I am going to have to get a new cape!! Southwesterly wind shear has been a very good late season friend to the Eastern Caribbean so far. The wave close off to our east has been trying for days to go through and has run up against 25-35 mph upper level shear. However, that shear is expected to lessen quickly over the next 24-36 hours as the system is pushed slowly westward and even possibly southwesterly. This puts Puerto Rico and all of the Virgin Islands under the threat of heavy rainfall and possible flooding starting late tonight into Thursday and possibly lasting into early Friday. The islands are still pretty green and a little rain would be nice but not a slow-moving downpour. This system also has some potential to develop although not all computer models agree at this time. Another area which has flared up is south of Haiti which has possibilities of it's own. Then we look far across to the Cape Verde's. Season is usually done that far away as hostile winds and cooler waters negate any developmental prospects but there is considerable disorganized activity with showers and thunderstorms spread over a wide area. As it moves across the waters to more favorable conditions, it might be an area of interest in 5-7 days. Maybe..... Dave
Thursday, October 11, 2007, 5:20PM EDT - Fifteen
Tropical Depression Fifteen formed about 850 miles east of Bermuda. No threat to land, plus it is dubious if it will strengthen to Tropical Storm Noel. - Gert
Tue, 9 Oct 2007 07:25:12 -0400 (AST) - Green again!
Good morning! It was pretty much a washout if you tried to go camping this weekend in the BVI's and the USVI's as rainfall continued sporadically during the day Monday with a few thunderstorms thrown in for good measure. St. Croix, St. John and the BVI's received the most and with this rains comes the scourge of the Caribbean: newly hatched, small but starving mosquitos!! I haven't had one in my humble home in several weeks and last night, the slaughter was on. I took out 19 of these lady lovers of blood (yes, the ones that bite are the females!)last night in about 40 minutes. And they were the small, fast variety; not our usual lumbering C130 types. Unfortunately, I forsee another possible dengue outbreak. The good side of so much rain is that it all didn't fall in 5 minutes; allowing much to soak in the ground and into our cisterns where water really does = $$$$! Just check out what Ms. Mermaid says about it in Tortola. The bad side is, while the islands are a lush green, the sides of the roadways are growing into the roads making driving hazardous once again. No one likes to drive through the overhanging bush so they drive farther out from the left, usually part way onto your side of the road. going around the tight, hilly corners we have make for some interesting and harrowing moments. it does look like the moist trend will continue through at least Thursday night as we have a weak tropical wave around 60W this morning. Not formidable at all in appearance, it is expected to assist the already unstable atmosphere with a few more shower and thunderstorms for our area on Wednesday. behind that, it's pretty quiet and there are no impressive blobette's across the African continent either. A TD is possible close to Belize and the Yucatan (96I) bringing heavy rains and mudslides. Where it goes from there is subject to big discussion if it reforms on the other side and it's a bit too early to tell. Gulf Coast states should still watch this one with a wary eye. Dave
Mon, 8 Oct 2007 07:46:11 -0400 (AST) - Rain and WAPA again!
Good morning! Hope all of the US readership is enjoying Columbus Day this drier Monday morning! It's also called "Rag on your Boss" day by a local radio station which believes no-one should have to work on such an important holiday! That's funny! I don't mind working today; I don't believe anybody should have to work Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Years Day! And the day after the Super Bowl! Back to weather.....The active elements around the Northern Antilles has finally pulled away to the north with lingering moisture trailing behind but not much. The lightning show was pretty spectacular and thunder shook all around. Flooding is an issue around the low-lying areas as well as rockslides. The Smith Bay area even had it's own river on St. Thomas making me wonder how many telephone and utility poles were or are undermined! St. Croix received the brunt of the activity as well as the BVI's. St. Thomas was expecting what St. Croix received early last night but at the last minute, the activity switched east to run over the BVI's one more time. Power was out as one would naturally expect living here where one heavy rain or lightning bolt can take out power for hours as it did over the weekend. Driving? When we receive heavy rain, drivers react like they do in the northeast with the first falling snow or ice storm: they barrel right on through the ponding water with no reduction of speed thereby endangering everyone on the road and those close to it. One driver yesterday morning decided to skate into a guidewire attached to a power pole and took it down. Power was out when I left for work around 8:00 am until I don't really know but at least I couldn't blame it on WAPA this time! The tropics are quiet right now but we still have 7 weeks left. However, after this week is over, only 8% of historical storms form. I like the odds but we are not out of the woods yet! Dave
Friday, October 5, 2007, 11:40M EDT - What a mess...
It looks like there is a lot going on when you see all the yellow, red and white on the satellite image above. Then three invests are listed, plus the graphical tropical weather outlook has 6 areas circled. But still, no storms! It feels like we are nearing the end of the season. But we are not. Remember Category 5 'Lefty' Lenny in 1999? It formed on November 15... So stay alert! -Gert
Sunday September 30, 2007, 12:55PM EDT - Melissa
Tropical Depression 14 was yesterday upgraded to Tropical Storm Melissa, but it is now a tropical depression again. It is still out there in the Atlantic, about 2000 miles away from the islands, and it is expected to curve north well before it gets here.
That's the only system out there right now, no invests either. Although the remnants of Karen, which got battered by wind shear and finally had to give up, still looks like a big mess. -Gert
Friday September 28, 2007, 11:45AM EDT - Lorenzo
Another weird storm. Yesterday at 1PM, about 12 hours before landfall, Tropical Depression 13 was upgraded to Tropical Storm Lorenzo, then at 7PM it was upgraded to a hurricane! At 1AM it made landfall along the east-central coast of Mexico, in Veracruz state, about 40 miles south of Tuxpan. So residents might have been caught 'a bit' off guard. I am not that familiar with the terrain, but because Lorenzo is moving so slow (6-8mph) rain accumulation rates will be very high. And if it is moutainous terrain the threat of flash-floods and mud slides will be high, in addition to the expected storm surge. Often not the winds but the torrential rains are the main threat with a tropical system, esp. these slow moving ones. Check Google-News for more news...
Meanwhile we have a new tropical depression, number 14. It might become tropical storm Melissa later today or tomorrow. The good news is that it is still over 2000 miles from the islands and that it is expected to curve north well before it gets here. Also, Karen is weakening, barely a tropical storm (although it might have been a hurricane for a little while yesterday). The track has changed a bit as well, and might bring it closer to the islands, but it won't be a hurricane, so that's good. -Gert
Thursday September 27, 2007, 11:45AM EDT - Karen on track
Looks like Karen is still doing what it is supposed to do; moving more to the north and as it looks right now bypassing the islands. Although it might turn to the north a bit later, we still have to keep watching this system. As you might have noticed I added a couple of links to other excellent websites below the list of island reports. Especially noteworthy is the NOAA/NESDIS page which has links to storm/invest-specific 'floaters'. If you click for example on Karen and on the new page under 'Image Loop', 'Long': AVN, you get a nice satellite loop centered on the storm on which you can superimpose the official forecasted track (select 'Trop Pts') and other useful parameters like 'Roads' :-). They really did a nice job with these.
For the rest there is still that depression close to Mexico which can bring a lot of rain... It might not be a hurricane or tropical storm but the amounts of rainfall associated with this system can be quite devastating. The advisory notes that TD 13 is: "EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 5 TO 10 INCHES OVER THE MEXICAN STATE OF VERACRUZ...WITH POSSIBLE ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 15 INCHES."
Then we are also watching a tropical wave just south of the Cape Verde islands which at this point of time is not expected to become too organized (see Tropical Weather Outlook below). Talking about the Tropical Weather Outlook, the National Hurricane Center now has a 'graphical' Tropical Weather Outlook. On a satellite image they put circles around areas of interest and numbered them, corresponding to specific paragraphs in the Outlook. Quite useful because sometimes it is hard to orient yourself what area are talking about. I added a link to that satellite image at the top of the Outlook (it's a pop-up). -Gert
Wed, 26 Sep 2007 07:46:04 -0400 (AST) - Wet day!
Good morning! Thank you all for your words of condolences. They are all deeply appreciated! TS Karen is still moving pretty much on a westerly course and the more she continues that path, the more nervous the islands become. Karen looked like a large gelatinous weak blob yesterday but this morning appears to have eaten her Wheaties or Special K with deeper convection appearing in the center. Slow development is expected to possible weak hurricane status as hostile upper level wind shear is expected later in the forecast period. Behind Karen, I see a very possible Lorenzo and it wouldn't surprise me if he became a bad boy, given the nature of men named storms this year!! This wave looks very healthy! Around the northern islands, the BVI's, USVI's, and Puerto Rico were entertained last night with showers, some thunder and a decent lightening show. It's overcast right now with light showers and cool (79 degrees). Good day to stay home and curl up with a loved one or good book and a mimosa! Stay watchful! Dave
Tuesday September 25, 2007, 9:10PM EDT - Number 13
Invest 94L was upgraded to Tropical Depression Number 13. It is in the Gulf of Mexico, but no threat to the islands. It is actually expected to go a bit southwest towards Mexico, not the Gulf Coast. Meanwhile, the Navy/NRL website is not tracking Invest 97L anymore, currently over the northeastern islands, so I guess they don't expect anymore development (other then some 'disturbed' weather for the islands). Karen is still on track to bypass the islands, but (there is always a but) behind Karen we have another wave. The Cape Verde season is not over... Actually, a 'few' years ago I looked at points of origin of tropical storms for the different months. Even in October many storms formed in the by then colder Atlantic. -Gert
Tue, 25 Sep 2007 07:42:18 -0400 (AST) - Karen
Good morning! TD#12 was upgraded this morning as of the 5am advisory to TS Karen. Quite large in size and circulation, Karen is expected to move generally west northwest and eventually recurve to the north. This will happen if the timeline is correct. If not, the Lesser Antilles will be in for some unwanted action. There is also a tropical low behind Karen which bears watching as well. Closer to home, our closest to the islands system is spreading squally weather with bouts of heavy rainfall and we here in the Virigns should start to see some of it late this afternoon. The rains would be welcome but not in deluges! I'll have more later this afternoon. Dave
Monday September 24, 2007, 9:15PM EDT - Number 12
Invest 96L has been upgraded to Tropical Depression 12. It is still far out there in the Atlantic; about 1700 miles from the islands. Currently it is predicted to move west/northwest but then curve well to the north before it reaches the islands (check the Closest Point of Approach-tool). Also, it isn't expected to become a strong storm (although it is big, as Dave wrote earlier). Hopefully this all pans out, but as you know things can change rapidly, so we still have to keep a close eye on this one. -Gert
Mon, 24 Sep 2007 18:47:44 -0400 (AST) - Zero to three in???
Good afternoon! For all of you TV 2 viewers in the Virgin Islands, it is with sadness that I alert you to the fact I will be leaving the air in two weeks. My last day will be October 5th. A tragic accident has left me no alternative. My co-worker and best friend on island who helped me through my wife's passing last year has passed away himself last week. He was the CFO and I am the assistant at my full-time position daily and now, my services are needed on a much greater scale there. I will be available, of course, if a system does develop and threaten the islands as I will not leave my fellow Virgin Islanders without the reliable local information they have come to expect from me. Clay Sutton will be sorely missed, not only personally but professionally by many here in St. Thomas. Those commercials about the speed of cars from zero to sixty? How about tropical development from zero to three in 24-36 hours? Yes, we could have that many depressions or a combination of depressions and named storms by daylight Wednesday. Hey, we had Humberto go from tropical depression to Cat 1 hurricane in 14 hours! The next two days will be interesting...... Our closest wave is getting ready to run into decent wind shear which should slow development but bring heavy rains to the mid and Northern Antilles. After that, it has to survive the mountains of the Dominican Republic. Remember one thing though.... Upper level winds are usually also steering winds and this could be steered alot closer to the northern islands than forecast, as it already has done so! Our large, discombobulated wave about 800 miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands continues to show some signs of getting it's act together but it's circulation is so large, it will take some time for development. Computer models have it going north of the Northern Islands but this system is very big! Hint! Hint! Hey, it's still September!!!!!! Dave
Sunday September 23, 2007, 12:40PM EDT - Jerry
From the advisories: ..SUBTROPICAL DEPRESSION STRENGTHENS TO A SUBTROPICAL STORM...NO THREAT TO LAND... Jerry is even far to the east of Bermuda. So that's nice!
However, there are currently 3 invests (see links above). Invest 94L, which just passed over the Yucatan Peninsula and into the Gulf. This might become a hurricane, and the Gulf Coast has to keep an eye on this one, esp. with the warm seasurface temperatures, but no threat to the Caribbean Islands. The other two invests however could cause some trouble for us. Invest 96L, still far out there in the Atlantic can possibly cross the islands as a hurricane in 5 or more days, but hopefully it will pass north. Finally closer by is invest 97L which might pass pass over Barbados and later around St.Lucia and Martinique as a tropical storm in a few days. An active week ahead! -Gert
Friday September 21, 2007, 12:20PM EDT - Tropical Depression 10
A new tropical depression formed in the Gulf of Mexico. It might become a tropical storm before it makes landfall in the Gulf Coast somewhere between New Orleans and Mobile. No threat to the islands. -Gert
Mon, 17 Sep 2007 09:06:29 -0400 (AST) - The end of Ingrid?
Good morning! The last advisories have been issued on slower-than-slow moving Ingrid as she has lost her qualification card for tropical cyclone status. Having been stripped of her title, she still poses a possible flooding threat if her remnants stay more west than northwest. Wind shear has finally taken it's toll and will continue to do so for the next several days but if those remnants can hold at least loosely together, a possible regeneration could occur north of Puerto Rico. Wind shear is expected to continue until the end of the week and if it does, the wave around 12N 44w won't have much chance to grow up either. When the shear does eventually die though, I expect a few storms to crop up quickly, especially in the Gulf and west-central caribbean. With a trough sitting across the territory, we should see some scattered showers from time to time and we do need some rain so that is good. It's looking on again, off again wet this whole week. Fall is almost here! Dave
Sat, 15 Sep 2007 07:00:25 -0400 (AST) - Too quiet!
Good morning! First, a big hello to Kevin and Misty who now reside in the earthquake state of California!! Miss you guys!! Other than a rather feisty Tropical Storm Ingrid and another mid-Atlantic, we are in an unusual quiet mode, especially for these weeks of September. That is a good thing of course, but is this time the "calm before the storm"? Food for thought as I've been hearing some pretty complacent comments and we still have about 3 peak weeks left, not to mention another full two months of official season. Not much to say on Ingrid. While TWC, NHC, and NWS haven't exactly been rocket scientist's on forecasting intensity (see Felix and Humberto especially), they have been pretty good relative to forecast tracks. Ingrid's tenancity at fighting off the westerly wind shear attacking from the southwest so far makes me wonder if she will have anything left in the next few days. Either way, there will be no rest from the islands until she reaches that all important 18N line. Once again, a male name has done it this year as Humberto reached Cat 1 status from a depression in just 14 hours! Of course, he snuck in like the thief in the night and caught alot of people unprepared. Never underestimate any storm, especially one cornered in the Gulf of Mexico. Once in the Gulf, it has to hit land somewhere. The African continent is looking quiet as well which is good for the eastern Caribbean. The next two weeks could bring a suprise to the western Caribbean and Gulf again as shear is expected to die down and that very warm, jet fuel waters of the southern Caribbean could indeed spawn another male with evil intentions! Dave
Friday September 14, 2007, 11:40AM EDT - A dagger through the heart
Tropical depression Eight finally became Tropical Storm Ingrid. It is still a bit struggling trying to stay a tropical storm, which will become harder with a more hostile wind shearing environment ahead (in the NHC Discussion they are talking about a 'dagger through the heart'). This we don't mind of course. Also, it is forecasted to pass a couple of hundred miles to the north of the islands in about 3-4 days, hopefully this won't change. So not too much to worry about.
We are getting just past the peak of the season for the Caribbean (see the climatology section for when it is your island's peak of the season). But don't think it is over. The Klotzbach/Gray team at Colorado State predicted in their revised Sep.4 forecast that we should see 15 named storms, of which 7 hurricanes (4 of Category 3 and higher). Ingrid is 'only' our 9th storm. And we have had 3 hurricanes (2 [really] big ones). So SIX more storms to go, 4 hurricanes of which 2 big ones... Seems like a lot though, we'll see. -Gert
Thu, 13 Sep 2007 08:43:36 -0400 (AST) - TD#8
Good morning! TD#8 is still swirling and twirling in the Atlantic but hasn't gained much of any strength overnight. The largest blob of convection is actually to the south of the center which makes it appear to be headed in a more westerly direction than west north-west. Still forecast to pass 150 miles to the north of St. Thomas if you use the closest point of approach tool and it extrapolates the forecast coordinates outward. Slowing down should help it make Tropical Storm Ingrid status and also continuing to be forecast is hostile wind shear ahead in a couple of days. This would be great news as far as non-development is concerned. We still appear to be in for a good soaking and some TS force winds and I still see a possibility of minimal Cat 1 if the anticipated wind shear does not arrive in time to save the day! More later.... Dave
Wed, 12 Sep 2007 16:56:22 -0400 (AST) - Humberto?
Good afternoon! A quick post! TD#9 decided it wanted to be named first so it rapidly got it's act together in time to hammer an area which doesn't even need a needle drop of rain but is expecting 5-10 inches! The rains are expected to carry over the lower southeast bringing relief to some areas of drought stricken Alabama and Georgia but Texas is the last place for this much rain. TD#8, still as of this post, appears pretty formidable and I'll have my update on probable TS Ingrid after the show. Dave
Wed, 12 Sep 2007 11:36:09 -0400 (AST) - Finally declared a dpression!
Good morning! The NHC has finally and officially designated 91I as Tropical Depression #8 after it finally decided to get it's act together overnight and into this morning. As I said in my previous post, I didn't like it then and I don't like it now. And, I believe, the East Coast of the U.S. down the road 10 days or so, will not like it either. The initial forecast calls for it to be around 17N 57W in 5 days which brings it uncomfortable close to the Northern Antilles as a strong tropical storm. The reason for it not to be "Cat 1 or 2 hurricane Humberto" and just strong tropical storm Humberto is wind shear. While the shear is expected to weaken considerably over the next several days allowing it to strengthen, it is supposed to go back up to around the 15 knot range by the fourth day thereby slowing down the intensification process. Key phrase here is " supposed to"! Intensification hasn't been very reliable these last few storms and with very warm jet-fuel waters, the Northern Islands could very well see a Cat 2 on the doorstep. Just a possibility I'm throwing out; not cut into stone. After it passes the islands and if it does indeed pass north, the US east Coast could be in for a major surprise as well as the Bahama's and Turks&Caicos. Pay attention boys and girls. It's showtime again in the tropics! I'll post a further update either tonight after the station or tomorrow O'Dark Thirty. Dave
Monday September 10, 2007, 11:40PM EDT - New feature: Invests
More and more people like to track 'invests' these days, areas of potential tropical storm formation. Therefore I included these, when present, in the above storm tools section. It gives a link to satellite imagery (by the excellent Navy/NRL Monterey Marine Meteorology Division) and links to model tracks a.k.a. spaghetti plots (at Wunderground.com and the South Florida Water Management District (who usually show more different kind of models)). Keep in mind that these results are very preliminary and some models have a better reputation in forecasting then others. Also, these Invests have not even been classified as tropical cyclones. Often it is just an interesting swirl and never becomes a storm. It is what it is, an area of potential tropical storm formation and not more. -Gert
Sun, 9 Sep 2007 11:47:46 -0400 (AST) - Active!
Good morning! A fantastic, cloud-free night last night here in the Virgin Islands was throughly enjoyed but this morning a few showers sped through making for a very lazy Sunday morning. But I perked up at the thought of the first Sunday of Football and I've been a happy camper ever since! LOL... No one seems to be worried, NHC or TWc, about the little blossoming blobbette off to the east of the northern Lesser Antilles. It sure has been taking it's good old time getting here and that has allowed it to fire up plenty overnight. Looks to me like were in for quite a few large raindrops tomorrow but we do need some rain. Other than some flooding expected due to the slowness of this system, development is not expected but a large increase in the mosquito population is! After that passes by, some late season Saharan Dust should be around mid-week with some breezy winds. The rather large wave at 10N 34W has some serious possibilities down the road and I really don't like this wave or the next one behind it. Wind shear is down, water temperatures are still up, and our old friend Saharan Dust, while still lingering, is not as potent as it once was. We could see a hurricane by the end of this coming week and it will probably be farther north than Dean or Felix. By the way, did anyone notice it's the guy named storm's causing most of the problems this year so far?? I bet you ladies out there did!!! These next few weeks bring back some sad and bad memories about Hurricane's Luis, Marilyn, and Hugo. Lesson's learned the hard way and as history is the best teacher, the best teacher's repeat themselves until you get it right or not at all. Let's hope we all have it right. Dave
Saturday September 8, 2007, 13:25PM EDT - Riders on the storm
In case you haven't seen it yet... John Burnie from Guadeloupe posted a link to a film clip at airshowbuzz.com of a hurricane hunter flying into the eye of Felix at 2:00AM on September 3. It is quite impressive to see how it is to fly through an eye-wall. Mike from Playa suggested to watch it at night, on full screen and with the lights out. Also worth checking out is the Hurricane Hunters' Felix storm summary page. -Gert
Friday September 7, 2007, 11:55PM EDT - Gabrielle
It's a stretch... but here it is: subtropical storm Gabrielle. Doesn't look like much, but it will be traveling over the warm Gulf Stream soon, which might do strange things to this system. It is off the coast of the Carolinas, not threatening any of the islands, incl. Bermuda. The forecasted track looks pretty neat, traveling west, touching land in North Carolina, and moving east over the ocean again. For the rest, all seems pretty quiet... -Gert
Friday September 7, 2007, 6:15PM EDT - Miskito Coast
As Dave and John have written below, it might be that Felix has dissipated and has dropped from the headlines, it is by far not over yet for people in the affected areas. I just read on reliefweb.int that the death toll now stands at 130, and is likely to go up more. Of course it is nowhere as bad as Mitch was when over 9000 people died, but still, help is needed, esp. in the Miskito Coast region. When you go to reliefweb.int you can find out how to donate, etc. Also, for new news try a news.google.com search for miskito coast.
On another note, many more people then I expected are actually interested in the RSS-feed, so I have improved it so that the whole text of the newest update is included as well. So now you don't have to visit stormCARIB.com anymore to read the reports. :-) Please let me know if you have any difficulty with the feed or let me know how to make it better. This is all completely new to me, but I think that the scripts I wrote to automate are working fine. Again to subscribe to the feed click on the orange feed-icon () in the address bar of your browser (if it shows) or use the link: http://stormcarib.com/feed.xml with your rss-reader. Google now has its own reader as well. -Gert
Fri, 7 Sep 2007 07:50:03 -0400 (AST) - The trough!
Good morning! Unfortunately, the full scale of Felix's assault on Nicaragua and Honduras is starting to be realized and not in a good way at all (please see John Fuller and the Antigua report. Prayers and thoughts are with those people, many of whom apparently didn't have much,if any warning, due to it's remoteness (and/or governmental factors). A central Atlantic upper level trough is expected to dig down into our normally stable easterly trade wind flow and disrupt the seasonal storm and wave migration from Africa to the Lesser Antilles which is good news as we are in the heart of the hurricane season for the next 5 weeks or so. The effects will be to pull any developing system to the north or northwest. Let's see how our newest protector handles the next system. And we all know there will be a next one. Have a great and safe weekend but be watchful! Dave
Thursday September 6, 2007, 0:53AM EDT - RSS feed
To make it easier for you to keep track if new reports have been posted by the hurricane correspondents I added a simple RSS-feed to the page. In some browser the little RSS icon shows up in the address bar. The RSS-feed url is: http://stormcarib.com/feed.xml. It is very primitive now and might expand it in the future if there is enough interest. New to RSS? Read this simple explanation at What is RSS?. -Gert
Tuesday September 4, 2007, 11:05PM EDT - Rain
Felix has been downgraded to a tropical storm. However, the rains, not the wind, is the most dangerous part. The latest advisory warns that "Felix is expected to produce 8-12" of rain across Nicaragua and El Salvador, with 10-15" over much of Honduras. Isolated maximimum amount of 25" are possible in mountainous areas"(!) Life-threatening flash floods and mud slides are expected. It looks though that Felix won't stall, possibly producing even more rain, but will move forward at about 12mph, although not as fast as earlier.
On the Pacific side another hurricane made landfall within 3 hours of Felix. George of allweatherfriends.net forwarded me this link to a spectacular MODIS satellite composite image. -Gert
Tuesday September 4, 2007, 11:44AM EDT - Felix
Felix made landfall earlier this morning close to the Nicaragua/Honduras border. Although it seemed to weaken a bit yesterday it restrengthened and was a Category 5 storm again at landfall. This is the first time that two Category 5 hurricanes make landfall in one season. The track is more south then earlier forecasted. It is expected that Felix will dissipate rather quickly over land. This is good news for the Bay Islands (Roatan, Guanaja,...) who prepared for the worst. But the torrential rainfall will cause life-threatening mudslides on the mountainous terrain ahead. Since I focus on the islands I will not get many reports from the mainland. But you can search news.google.com for keywords like felix honduras or felix nicaragua. I collected a number of impressive satellite images at time of landfall from NRL Monterey which can be found here. -Gert
Mon, 3 Sep 2007 10:21:56 -0400 (AST) - Felix the Dangerous Cat
Good morning! While from a meterological standpoint, Felix is awesome to behold; from a human standpoint, untold devastation and misery lies in it's path. With wind shear very low and the warmest part of the Caribbean yet to come, the thoughts of Felix diminishing in intensity before landfall are fantasies unless something well unforeseen occurs. A 64 mb drop in 24 hours is what has the NHC and others scratching their collective heads. As Gert mentioned, intensity forecasting still leaves plenty to be desired but it is getting better. Also, these storms as Gert mentioned also usually cannot sustain Cat 5 status for long but the bad part is, it doesn't have much farther to go. The interaction of Felix with the Honduran coastline should drop it's intesity somewhat but still should be minimal Cat 4 or strong Cat 3 when it impacts Belize. After crossing Central America, it reaches the Bay of Campeche and therein lies a tracking issue. Will it turn northward and affect Texas as guided by a front moving through or will the front not be strong enough and another hit will be felt on Old Mexico? Timing is everything here along with strength on both sides. Wherever it makes landfall, it will not be pretty so if your not prepared, evacuate! Property can be rebuilt. Your life isn't worth the risk. Once again, I hope the Mexican Army and maybe other countries forcibly evacuate those stubborn enough to try to ride it out. They saved many lives when Dean hit a few short weeks go. 98I is still putzing around the Central Atlantic hurricane basin and for a while, decided to go WSW but is now a western moving system again. Wind shear is pretty hostile and forecast to continue so while dry air filters in from the north. I still see a depression towards the end of the week but it's path is still uncertain. Some take it north of Puerto Rico but all northern tracks have been pretty much wrong this year so far. Also upcoming this week is a few more large waves exiting the African coast. Large and in charge, the second one I believe bears more watching although we can't allow ourselves to complacent at any time in September! Dave
Sunday September 2, 2007, 11:55PM EDT - More scary
And Felix has now reached the highest category, number 5. I won't even give you a link to explain what a 'catastrophic' hurricane is capable of. Of even more concern is that Felix hasn't even crossed the warm core eddy yet. That means more strengthening might lie ahead. This might become the most powerful hurricane ever. The only positive note is that hurricanes can not sustain category 5 status for that long, so hopefully by the time it reaches land it will be weaker then it is now. -Gert
Sunday September 2, 2007, 5:15PM EDT - Scary
Not often that I show pictures, but I had to share these 'perfect' hurricane images of Felix... Left picture source: GHCC/NASA (same as 'storm centered image/loop'-tool above), right picture: NRL Monterey. Felix is now a Category 4, will probably a Category 5 soon... Projected path still just north of Honduras, then Belize again... Hurricane correspondent Diane on the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize wrote: "we're tired, many people are broke, and given the scope of the storm there seems no sure safe haven" -Gert
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Sunday September 2, 2007, 1:55PM EDT - Felix!
Felix is now a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir Simpson-scale, with max. sustained winds near 125mph! Like Dave noted earlier this wasn't expected to happen so quickly! This once again illustrates that hurricanes are unpredictable, especially when it comes to intensity forecasts. Hopefully it will go a bit more north so it will save Honduras and its Bay Islands (Roatan, ...). We don't want another Mitch. But more north means closer to Jamaica/Cayman and into Belize and Mexico's Yucatan peninsula which just had Dean. Wherever it will go it won't be good... -Gert
Sun, 2 Sep 2007 09:56:22 -0400 (AST) - Gabrielle?
Good morning! The NHC continues to make Felix an overachiever as the official forecast for Felix on Friday night had Felix becoming a hurricane on Monday but surprise, surprise, Felix the Cat 2 Himmacane decided to pull one out of his bag of tricks! See, another example of the uncertainties of weather and storm forecasting. While we have made huge strides over the last 3 decades in hurricane forecasting, mother nature and other factors contribute weather characteristics still not fully understood or explained. Felix is giving the ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao an unexpected brush as these islands historically do not experience the full brunt of any tropical system as has been shown over the last 113 years. Very dry Aruba could could benefit the most rain-wise but flooding is a potential issue. Flooding, mudslides, and landslides will be a definite issue when Felix reaches Honduras, Nicaragua and Belize as a potential Cat 3. An eye has been trying to form this morning which is a good indication of strengthening and even interaction with the South American coast is not helping to slow Felix down. It's forward speed will help keep the rainfall totals down but the mountainous regions of Central America could be in for a rough time. Once again, as with Dean, those 400 or so oil rigs off the Mexican coast will have to be evacuated and that will probably cause a spike in world oil prices and hence, our wallets! Back to the east we look and I am not particularly happy with the way 98I looks. The computer models, having plugged in the fact this wave is a bit farther to the north, have not swung it out to open sea but have it coming to the Antilles as well, with possible impacts at the end of this coming week around the northern islands. Hey, we prepared already for Dean (I hope most of you did anyhow) and we should be ready should a Gabrielle get her act together. So far, only the himmacane's have received all the attention and for good reason. It's not far-fetched to realize a hurricane wants a piece of 2007 storm season history as well. Dave
Saturday September 1, 2007, 1:30PM EDT - Felix
Tropical storm Felix moved through the Windward Islands (see the many local reports on the right). The center of Felix will now move north of the ABC-islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao). Tropical storm warnings have been posted, something we don't quite often see (more info in the climatology section). Felix is almost a hurricane. Tropical storm force winds curretnly extend outward to about 45 miles. Luckily the strongest winds are to the north of the center. But as you can see on the satellite pictures the ABC islands will get a beating. The rain will probably the biggest problem. Check out the reports from Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao.
Further down the road it looks like it is going for the Yucatan/Belize and Honduras again! Expected landfall there is 4 days. But it is still too early to tell. Felix is however expected to become a major (category-3) hurricane. So all of you in the western Caribbean keep your eyes open! -Gert
Fri, 31 Aug 2007 10:26:27 -0400 (AST) - Felix?
Good morning! By the next advisory or after the hurricane hunters have been through, I expect to see a tropical depression announced and possibly shortly after, TS Felix. The paths as forecast by the computer models have it farther south than most storms with Grenada, T&T, and the ABC islands expected to receive plenty of showers and thunderstorms along with some TS force winds. Most of the heavy activity is on the southside as dry air and some saharan dust is still infiltrating the northern edge of the system. Further into the Central Caribbean, it looks like Felix could develop into a Cat 1 or 2 hurricane. Even though it is forecast to stay on a southerly track, it is possible it will exploit ridge weaknesses and jog a bit more northwest. Time will tell. Off to the East, a few waves are present but no organization at this time. Several waves on the continent of Africa are potent but we'll see what happens when they hit the water! Dave
Wed, 29 Aug 2007 19:17:00 -0400 (AST) - 94I and beyond
Good evening! Having just arrived on St. thomas this afternoon from the sunshine state, I had planned on going home to see if all was ok including my dog Brandy, and getting out of "vaca" mode by putting everything away and starting fresh tomorrow. Alas, the TV station called and, well, here I am after the show! Other than a wave washing over the Yucatan, there is nothing that impressive out there. Off the South Carolina coast is 95I, which should develop into a depression but the latest computer model runs cannot agree on where it will initially go. Their runs look like a bowl of spaghetti at the moment. However it forms, it should pull northeast and out to sea. Around 49W 11N is 94I and this is interesting as it had to detach itself from the ITCZ in the first place. Hurricane Hunters could investigate this system on Friday if necessary. Plenty of our old friend, the saharan dust, is filtering in, not only dust but dry and stable air into the northern part of 94I thus slowing down any potential development. It does have light wind shear ahead of it and very warm waters for fuel so it's entirely possible a depression could come out of it by tomorrow night or Friday. With winds estimated at 30 mph already, it's not that far off. computer models have it going into the Central Caribbean but not agreeing on a track. Soon come off the African coast is the wave I was talking about last week. Seems it's potentcy could make it a depression not far after it's interaction with the ocean south of the Cape Verde's. Dave
Mon, 27 Aug 2007 09:55:29 -0400 (AST) - Total Eclipse!
A quick programming note! LOL... A total lunar eclipse should be able to be briefly seen in the Eastern Caribbean for about 15 minto 1/2 hour before the sun actually rises starting at 4:51 am. The Western Caribbean have better seats and from the Mississippi west, the whole show should be available. The next one we could see will be on February 21, 2008. Dave
Mon, 27 Aug 2007 09:48:16 -0400 (AST) - Not much!
Good Monday morning! Not much to report or discuss at this time, which is not a bad thing! 93Invest is going to stay thay way; an invest. While a tropical low, part of it is over land alraedy in Mexico and development will have to occur on the Pacific side, if it ever does. Just a rainmaker for now. The Central Caribbean has a feature around 74W with some rotation at the mid levels but none at the surface. While plenty of moisture is being pulled up into the Caribbean by this system, development is not expected as wind shear in this region is pretty hostile. Still, it will be another rainmaker and moisturizer. Off to the east we go and there's not much right now which is a good thing! That weak wave I spoke about a few days ago around South America is still trying to claw it's way in the Caribbean but is not doing a good job of keeping together. From 60W to 45W, wind shear is very light and it's pretty clear with dry and stable air partially due to saharan dust activity with a strong high parked up in the middle of the vast Atlantic. Around 40W, we have another wave but organization is not it's forte for now. Inland on the African continent, there is a large and very vigorous wave about half-way across. It will be interesting to see what this does once it's south of the Cape Verde's. MMM.... Dave
Sun, 26 Aug 2007 13:16:05 -0400 (AST) - Next week?
Good afternoon! Now that the wedding is over, I can thoroughly enjoy some of Central Florida's finest in humidity (around 90%) and late afternoon thunder and lightening spectaculars (one which lasted 3 hours last night right after the "kiss the bride" scenario). Been quite a while since I lived in Tampa back in 1985-1989 since I've seen such ferocious rains (not including Hurricane's Marilyn, Bertha, Georges, and Lenny). Instead of dancing on the outside tarmac, we were dancing inside where the thunder was constantly shaking the building. My brother, the groom, wasn't too happy but it's amazing what a few glasses of wedding champaigne and a few glasses of fresh keg beer can do to lighten up the situation! The tropics remain uncharacteristically quiet but something is bound to pop the lid on this pressure cooker as the Sea Surface Temperatures (SST) remain plenty warm and wind shear is fairly light over the Atlantic Basin although Saharan Dust has creeped back into the picture putting a dry-damper on things. As I mentioned in my last post,I believe activity will ramp up here pretty soon. Several strong waves are on the African continent and will emerge over the next week or so and the need for continual monitoring is a neccessity, not a possibility. Dave
Sat, 25 Aug 2007 08:21:58 -0400 (AST) - What's that (?) and down the road
Good morning! It's interesting that I am on a mini-vacation (family weddings are hard work!)and I still find time to write more and answer e-mails more efficiently than when I am at home! After a quiet post-Dean days, a little blobbettte has decided to break away from the ITCZ around 49W-50W, just north of 10N and try to stand up on her (hers are next) own legs. This toddler of the tropics has had low level cyclonic turning for a few days now but has been imbedded in the ITCZ which is not the place for development. Now that she has escaped the clutches of the ITCZ, she has the potential to trip and fall through the southern Caribbean. Wind shear is pretty active across that area ahead of this system so development isn't expected. However, as she motivates past the lower islands into the Central Caribbean, she makes my item of interest list for the time being. Development of a system close to the Nicaraguan coast is forecast as possible by several computer models and then, before it can get past tropical depression status, push into the coastline early next week. Another item of interest. Down the road, the Atlantic is still uncommonly quiet. One wave now at 26 W is expected across the islands Thurs-Fri next week (not developed, another undeveloped one the following Mon-Tues and then a wave expected to be around 30W-31W by Sept. 3rd which is generating interest as the next possible development by the long-range models. It's prudent and nice to follow these long-range models but like long range forecast, they are subject to long-range errors. Still, they are not to be discounted and must be given some attention. For the time being, we will watch our little ones roll through beforehand and follow this third item of interest as we head into September! Dave
Thu, 23 Aug 2007 21:58:00 -0400 (AST) - More Blobbette's
Good evening! Dean is gone, the undeveloped wave east of Florida is moving inland with some welcomed rains (wow, what a concept!), and the Atlantic Basin is unusually quiet for this time of year. Meanwhile, there are many blobbette's across the African continent getting ready to move off the coast within the next week. Will one of these stand up and become an actual "Blob?" None of the computer models think so, at least for the next seven days. That would be great news if it holds true. So, does that mean we will have a wicked September? The truth is, we really don't know. I do feel this is too quiet and that there will be some serious activity next month and a bit in October as well but that is my personal outlook. Don't let this time of quiet reflection have you thinking that's it! The season's over! There is still a good 6 weeks of historically active peak season left and then the downflow. So, please keep your guard up and don't be caught complacent. It's when you least expect it, to expect it! Dave
Wed, 22 Aug 2007 18:45:54 -0400 (AST) - Dying Dean/Looking East
Good afternoon from sunny and muggy Central Florida! Dean is now a dying storm over the rugged and high peaks of Mexico's mountain chain but flash-flooding and mudslides will be a continual threat for the next say 36 hours. While Dean causes exyensive damage and a precious losss of life as it made it's way across the Caribbean, we should still count our blessings this Category 5 monster didn't directly hit (that means eyewall directly over) the Caribbean Islands of St. Lucia, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Jamaica, and the Caymans much less the populous cities of Cancun and Cozumel. The damage would have been in the billions and there quite probably would have been a tremendous loss of life. Bye Dean! Peeking off to the east, one wonders what is next on the hurricane menu. Will we see another appetizer, like 92I around the Bahamas, or will we have another main dish with all the trimmings like Dean? Right now there is considerable activity in the ITCZ around 35W but it, and the rest of the action across the Eastern and Central Atlantic remains pretty low around the 10N mark. No computer models (reliable) forecast any development next week but we've seen that happen before. The end of August is almost here and I think we've seen enough with Dean for a whole season but alas, that's not how this season will end. Continue to stay vigilant and prepared. If Dean didn't scare you, you might want to consider moving to a safer place, like Montana! Dave
Wed, 22 Aug 2007 09:27:28 -0400 (AST) - I'm back!
Good morning! I'm back after being "under the weather" for the last few days. Possible Dengue! Don't wish it on anyone!!! Off-island right now posting from Tampa and on to Orlando for a family wedding but will keep in touch. Will post next either tonight or tomorrow morning. Please be safe! Dave
Monday August 20, 2007, 9:50AM EDT - 92 Invest
I have a little experience with how rumors are starting after a hurricane hit; about another big one coming..., but yes, the Hurricane Center is investigating another area in the Atlantic. It has the potential to become a depression or something. BUT: it is not going to threaten the Caribbean islands at all! It is actually already north of the islands. See some model forecast tracking maps at sfwmd.gov or wunderground.com.
By the way, still 'vacationing', today we will move from St.Thomas to Tortola so will be without internet for the rest of the day. -Gert
Monday August 20, 2007, 8:10AM EDT - Cayman
Dean is about at it's closest point of approach with Cayman. Luckily the eye of the storm is about 100 miles south. Amazingly, with a strong Category Four hurricane so close by, power is still on in parts, and reports by the special hurricane correspondents are still coming in! (read here). It is not over yet though, the north eastern side of the hurricane is also a bit stronger. I am still waiting for some more definitive reports on Jamaica. Since the eye brushed just south of the island, the south coast is expected to be in worst shape.
Next up is the Yucatan... landfall of the eye expected in about 24 hours with tropical storm winds starting about 10 hours earlier. It's current forecast takes it about 65 miles north of Ambergris Caye (Belize), 110 miles south of Cozumel and 160 miles south of Cancun (see reports from Mexico). Remember they had TWO category Four Hurricanes in 2005 (Emily and Wilma). Also, important to note is that we shouldn't focus solely on the eye. Computer forecasts are never 100% accurate. -Gert
Sunday August 19, 2007, 6:25PM EDT - GOES Satellite
Of course, right at this moment when the eye of Dean is touching Jamaica the NASA server seemed to have crashed where I get the images from (among others, the one above, and the My Satellite-tool). Another source for excellent satellite imagery is: NRL Monterey Marine Meteorology Division. Hopefully with the amount of traffic I am getting we are not going to crash that one :-). So far today the website got almost 2 million hits. Thanks to my excellent webhost, pairNetworks the two dedicated stormCARIB-servers are running smoothly. -Gert
Sunday August 19, 2007, 9:20AM EDT - Jamaica
A very dangerous hurricane is now approaching Jamaica. People shouldn't feel safe just because the eye of the storm might stay south. Although we do it all the time, you shouldn't focus solely on the eye. This is a Category Four storm we are talking about. A slight jog to the north and you have the eye. Hurricane winds extend outward to up to 60 miles! Especially people in low lying areas should have already evacuated because of the expected storm surge. This is not a storm to be taken lightly. This is 'yes worries, mon'! -Gert
Saturday August 18, 2007, 11:10PM EDT - A tad south
The 11PM advisories show that Dean's track is a little more south. The eye of the storm might now stay just south of Jamaica, and about 60 miles south of Cayman. This is a great improvement relative to the eye going straight over Jamaica or Grand Cayman. However, nothing is certain, hurricanes are known to wobble a bit left and right. Also, regardless, with the eye passing this close it will be a destructive storm, no question about it. Just hoping it wobbles more south so that the highest winds stay away. Also, the storm surge will be very dangerouse for the low lying areas. If there is an evacuation order for your area, don't be stupid but leave! -Gert
Sat, 18 Aug 2007 15:16:35 -0400 (AST) - Scorpion King Dean
Good afternoon! As I am currently listening to Gwen Stephani and Akon's "Great Escape", I can't help but think the northern Antilles Islands made a "Great Escape"! Gert is on vacation (He's here on St. Thomas) and has limited access to the Internet so if you send something to him, he might be a bit late getting back to you. However, we might not let him come back to the Caribbean during hurricane season as he seems to be a hurricane magnet! To the viewers of TV2 here in the US Virgin Islands... A 90% chance of rain is for the whole territory, not just the northern islands of St. Thomas, Water and Hassel Island, and St. John. St. Croix is 40 miles closer to the storm so they have/had the best chance of rain and wind. As Dean decided to go straight along 15N last night, St. Thomas was spared most of the outer rainbands. But, they are here today courtesy of the scorpion's tail which follows almost every storm. One last lash! So, because you didn't get any rain last night doesn't mean the forecast was wrong. Last minute changes made by a hurricane are made by Mother Nature, not me.... Many e-mails have come from people, including a couple of friends, who are to travel to Jamaica and/or Cancun-Cozumel in the next few weeks. I advise you to call the resort, hotel, or friends where you plan to stay because unfortunately, they might be lacking in even the basics after this week. Category 4 Himmacane Dean is roaring towards Jamaica and the Caymans and all in the projected path should already be prepared although from what I have heard, there are plenty of resident Jamaican's who think the storm wll turn at the last minute like many before. The island is 80 miles wide. Hurricane force winds stretch 90 miles. Do the math people! While the eye is 14 miles wide, if it is a direct hit, .......Think about it... This storm is about 550 miles wide from top to bottom!! Further down the road ahead of Dean, after the Yucatan Peninsula, Old Mexico is sparsely populated but the northern quadrant will have huge impacts on South Texas, already a Tropical Storm Erin victim. This will not be a pretty scenario either. Looking in the rear-view mirror, has anybody noticed our wave at 28W? alraedy a tropical low, this needs to be paid attention to as well. If Dean did anything for the Caribbean, other than the islands it impacted, it woke up alot of complacent residents. This has visions on Luis and Marilyn dancing in my head. Dave
Saturday August 18, 2007, 9:15AM EDT - Pleas for Help forum
The Pleas for Help board is open. Feel free to post any questions, concerns, news there. Many people in esp. the US are in the same boat; unable to contact family or friends in some of the affected islands. Other people are trying to find ways to get off island to avoid the storm. It helps to know that you are not alone is this situation. The link to the Pleas for Help forum is: help.stormcarib.com. To be most effective with your post: use good subject lines. I am afraid that later I will have to open some island-specific forums. -Gert
Friday August 17, 2007, 9:45PM EDT - Still here
I am still 'vacationing' on St.Thomas, busy with all the e-mail and trying to keep the web-servers afloat from a distance. We are staying in Peterborg, overlooking Magen's Bay on the northern part of the island. It's a bit windy but no rain. We spend the day on Coki Beach. Quite nice actually. Looking at the satellite image it looks pretty bad here, but we even had dinner on our deck!
In any case, for Jamaica, Cayman, and the Yucatan it doesn't look good at all. Dean has now a 'nice' eye. I guess I am just going to blurt out some names to wake any people up who might be still thinking that this will 'blow over'. Gilbert for Jamaica, Ivan for Cayman, Wilma for Cozumel/Cancun, Mitch for Belize... Dean is a Category 4 already and it is going to strengthen more! Also the people in Hispaniola should take note. Luckily this is a fast moving storm, so the flooding shouldn't be as much of a problem as 'normally' in Haiti/Dominican Republic. Really people, watch out for this one! Also, read Dave's analyses below and soon above this message. I am a bit overwhelmed with e-mail and other web-stuff to post more frequently. -Gert
Fri, 17 Aug 2007 19:26:19 -0400 (AST) - A Meaner Dean
Good evening! Continuing to strengthen, Category 3 Hurricane Dean obviously intends to make a lasting impression of Biblical proportions, especially if he treks into the high heated waters of the Western Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. The countries of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, especially the southern coasts should already be on a serious alert as well as Cuba but I understand many residents of these countries do not fully understand the seriousness of this approaching storm. History repeats itself; nature repeats itself. The post from Jamaica about many of the residents there reflects that attitude of complacency which could be deadly. Jamaica and the Caymans, I wish there was a "dry-air bomb" we could drop in the middle of this thing but it still might not be good enough to stop a Category 4 storm so do what you gotta do to get ready! The Isle of Youth off the south-western tip of Cuba always seems to take blows and bounce back. Maybe we could all take a lesson. Down the road, a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico is like a caged animal; it has nowhere to go but hit land. No ocean outlets. Tradegy in Texas could turn catastrophic if this system hits Texas or, if the storm is steered to the east by a front or trough, who knows where it could land. Behind Dean there are several waves to watch including that 1009 mb low just off the coast of Africa. Our next named system?? Until tomorrow, be safe and be prepared! Dave
Fri, 17 Aug 2007 11:25:01 -0400 (AST) - Stronger Dean!
Good morning! Hurricane Dean is a strengthening Category 2 hurricane with 105 mph sustained winds and much higher gusts. What I would like to point out to the doubting Thomas's of our northern local islands is that the wind field I mentioned earlier has now expanded to 185 miles from 140 for sustained Tropical Storm force winds! That's only 5 miles short of the projected closest point of approach to St. Croix so Crucians, I hope your paying extra close attention as well because this storm is only going to get stronger and if anyone noticed, it has jogged .2 more north from the 8 am advisory. Every little point farther north brings those winds and outer spiral rainbands that much closer to the Virgin islands. St. Croix can expect some heavy rainfall and very gusty winds from these rainbands plus the accompanying scattered WAPA power outages due to swinging lines, fallen branches, and shorts. For those of you who have asked me where are the previous discusiions, please scroll down to just above the Current Tropical Weather Outlook and click the link just above to the left. Hang in there all in the path and keep positive! Jamaica and the Caymans, I hope you take this serious as it will, with all probability, be a very dangerous storm when it reaches you. Dave
Fri, 17 Aug 2007 08:18:44 -0400 (AST) - Damaging Dean
Good morning! I didn't expect to be posting this morning but the Huriicane Hunter flight I was to go on was changed from 0800 to 0400 and there was no way I could get to St. Croix in time to catch that flight. The next available was Sunday and Dean is expected to be ravishing Jamaica at that time as a Category 4. I'll wait till the next storm threatens closer to home. As Hurricane Dean makes his way through the St. Lucia channel (between St. Luci and Dominica), damaging winds are affecting both nations from what I have gathered this morning. Miss Mermaid, I too am curious why Antigua's weather service waited until the last minute to declare a tropical warning for the BVI's. I guess they thought they were outside the loop and it would cost them money by declaring it even though the center is over 200 miles away. Right now, Dean is at 14.4 north. Any jog to the north or northwest will place the BVI's, Us Virgins and Puerto Rico uner Tropical Storm force winds so we still need to be wary. The Captain of the Port in San Juan has closed the seaport in St. Croix as they are 40 miles closer to the center with tropical storm force winds expected to stay 48 miles offshore but that could change if Dean strengthens and his wind field expands which should happen. The Governor here in the US Virgin Islands has scheduled a news conference for 12:30 pm to update everyone on the state of readiness for the territory. At least he is on top of things. As Dean moves west, conditions here, especially St. Croix, will go down hill starting somewhere between noon and 3 pm lasting overnight. We are expecting 1-4 inches and some squally showers and thunderstorms. It's amazing that some long time residents don't think we will get anything still. Oh well, everyone is entitled to their own opinion! Prayers are with all in the grasp of Hurricane Dean. Please be safe! Dave
Thu, 16 Aug 2007 06:27:38 -0400 (AST) - "Himmacane Dean"
Good morning! Ok, Ok, you guys! I'll stop using the "I" word but it had to be mentioned due to the characteristics and similarities associated with Dean. We here in the US Virgin Islands try not to say the "M" word either; only when necessary but Dean has stirred plenty of flashback stories of "I", "M", "L" and, of course "WWL"! The central islands have hurricane warnings and watches posted for a very fast moving Hurricane Dean. I guess the this is probably the "only" good thing about Dean as it should be by quickly. The major problem is it doesn't give those of you in Martinique, Guadeloupe, and Dominica much time to finish preparations and even less for impacts in Barbados. Be and get safe down there! Further down the road, Jamaica and the Caymans better take this storm seriously. Forecast to become a Cat 3 before it gets to Jamaica, this is going to be a storm of force. It could still take a jog northward as it tries to find any weakness in the sub-tropical ridge holding it down and, as we all know, a little jog can avoid or cause big problems. Those of us in the Northern Islands shouldn't breath easier or stop any last minute preps until after it has cleared the Central Islands. Looking even farther behind, more pretenders to Dean's current reign are coming off the coast of Africa and already, it is a possibilty that we could see our next system in the Atlantic Basin at the end of next week. Good luck and God Bless All.. Dave
Wed, 15 Aug 2007 19:58:04 -0400 (AST) - More Dean
Good evening! Just off the news sset and Dean has plenty of people trying to figure and sort out it's upcoming wanderings as the variables are still in place; however, it seems to have stabilized abit allowing for more definitive analysis of just where it is headed! Current track shows passage between the islands of Martinique and Dominica around 2 pm Friday afternoon with 85 knot winds; a Category 2 hurricane. This will not be pretty by any means. Following on down the line, Jamaica and the Caymans appear to be the next on the list. Remember I mentioned the word Ivanesque in previous postings and that it would be a Cat 1 by Thursday morning? Shortly after passing through into Eastern Caribbean waters, this storm really ahs nothing to take it down. Very warm Caribbean waters (rocket fuel), and warmer, moister air with little wind shear bode well for a powerful storm. Another scenario still not played out and probably won't but we still should be aware of is, if a weakness develops soon in the ridge responsible for holding it south, all northern islands had better rush there preps to completion as Dean will be upon us in no time doing a "right turn Clyde". More than likely I will not post Friday as I am tentatively scheduled to fly on a hurricane hunter out of St. Croix. I'll give an update when I get back if weather permits. As in the Lion King movie, "BE PREPARED!!!" Dave
Wednesday August 15, 2007, 9:45M EDT - More south
Just a short note... Dean is forecasted to go more south then earlier anticipated. A big sigh of relief for the northeastern islands, like Antigua, St.Maarten, the Virgin Islands, etc. However, it is bad news for the more southerly islands. Right now Dean is expected to cross the island chain at Martinique. The eye is expected to be there Friday night, with tropical storm winds starting in the afternoon.
Although still just a tropical storm it is expected to become a strong hurricane in 5 days. By that time it should have crossed the island chain already. However, it is forecasted to move towards Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. It is still a bit early since models aren't that accurate that far away in time, but people over there should take notice. Below some 'closest points of approach' (CPA, in miles) for the islands in Dean's path. You can calculate your own with the How close can it get-tool, also listed above. -Gert
Island CPA (m) Time of CPA Martinique: 0.5 Friday, August 17 at 8:54PM EDT St.Lucia: 56.1 Friday, August 17 at 8:00PM EDT Dominica: 58.9 Friday, August 17 at 10:48PM EDT Barbados: 81.7 Friday, August 17 at 1:42PM EDT St.Vincent: 101.2 Friday, August 17 at 8:24PM EDT
Tue, 14 Aug 2007 11:34:52 -0400 (AST) - Dean
Good morning again! TD34 is now Tropical Storm Dean and is now forecast to be very near St. Croix on Sunday as a category 3 after first running over Guadeluope as a 2. The ridge building above the storm has to show weakeness in the next couple of days or this thing will be truly Ivaneque and head straight into the Caribbean and eventually the Yucatan and Gulf of Mexico. The other scenario is it flatlines after going north of our islands and makes a beeline for Florida and Georgia or even curves again and heads to New England! So many uncertainties with system at this time. Right now, it's a race against the clock as to the ridge and Dean. Dave
Tue, 14 Aug 2007 08:03:01 -0400 (AST) - TD#4
Good morning! Just a quick note this morning as soon-to-be named TD#4 churns through the Central Atlantic. With major uncertainty in the forecast track due to the computer models inability to fully grasp the system yet because it isn't a tropical storm yet, we can only surmise where it will eventually go. I personally do not like this storm because if it follows a historical track, that track could well be of a Luis or a Marilyn with it's slowly turning WNW which puts it over St. Martin, Antigua, Anguilla and all of the Virgin islands. Another hypothesis is that the ridge to the north holding it down doesn't weaken and it stays south and west. This puts it on an Ivanesque path. Either of these scenarios will not be pretty by any means so the quicker that ridge weakens and it starts to curve, the better. Right now, if it stayed the course and speed, it would pass by Anguilla by 4 miles (basically be on top of it!) on Sunday the 19th around 2:35 am. Augh! These night time hurricanes (or himmacane) in this case........ Be prepared none-the-less and be safe! Dave
Monday August 13, 2007, 8:45PM EDT - Go North!
I am currently vacationing in the Caribbean, doing some island hopping and am now on St.Thomas. I don't like what I am seeing! I really don't want a category 2 or higher hurricane here by Sunday! The models are quite scattered but showing a move to the north, hopefully just in time to miss the islands (see the Quick Hurricane Web Resource Navigator (QHWRN) under Model Forecasts for Storm 4. The official NHC forecast forecasts that it will just pass by the most northeasterly islands (Antigua, St.Maarten, etc....). Click on the 'closest point-link' above for your island.
The internet is pretty slow where I am staying, plus the couple of power outages don't help either, so if I don't reply to e-mail or post here, blame it on that :-) I will try to keep this website running as smoothly as I can from here. Within three days this thing should really turn north. -Gert
Mon, 13 Aug 2007 07:42:43 -0400 (AST) - The Blobbette!
Good morning! As my computer at home has finally decided to "retire", I am forced to use both of my job's computers to e-mail and of course, my e-mail became full over the weekend due to storm questions. I have cleaned my e-mail house so if you sent something and it got bounced, please resend! The blobbette at 29 degrees west flared up again overnight and has yet to be termed a tropical depression. Why you ask? it looks like one to me! Yes, I agree it looks like one but there is still some wind shear happening on the northern side and it is still over waters that aren't as warm as we have in the Central and Wetsren Atlantic. However, I believe Invest 90L will be coined a tropical depression by the end of today. Most of the current computer models show the system moving through the islands Friday and Saturday just below Guadeloupe with one showing it as just a wave and another right over the top of the Virgin islands on friday afternoon. Too soon to tell exactly the path but whatever the path, get your butt's in gear and get prepared if your not already! Strengthwise, the water temperatures (SST's) are definitely warm enough to fuel the beast and wind shear will have lessened by the time it reaches the Central Atlantic and I would't be surprised to see a Cat 1 by Thursday afternoon. That's not set in stone, just my thoughts. Dave
Thu, 9 Aug 2007 19:34:07 -0400 (AST) - next weekend???
Good evening! My last posting mentioned "The Blob". Well, that might not compare to the new "Blob" which hasn't even exited the African coast yet! In a day or so, this new system will fall off the coast and into very warm, energy filled Atlantic waters with weaker wind shear, less Saharan Dust, and a better easterly wind flow due to northerly high pressure. These factors are what has a few of the HHC's computer models doing something they haven't done in 11 weeks: forecast the development of a named storm! Current model thinking (hey, it's way early yet but still) puts it just north of Puerto Rico next Sunday (the 19th) but as a what? We'll have to wait and see what happens when it hits the water. It could still just go poof! like the rest of them but I don't think so. And since Gert is somewhere around the Caribbean or threatening to be, it's not a far-fetched scenario. Rememeber the last time he was down here! LOL.... What's not a laughing matter is, if your not prepared yet, get there!!! If you've never experienced one, don't fret. they are not fun at all and if you are not prepared, those REM's aren't good either! (Ready-to-Eat served up courtesy of the military). The news is over and it's time to say good night! Dave
Tuesday August 7, 2007, 11:45AM EDT - Less hurricanes
In their August update Dr. Klotzbach and Gray of Colorado State University slightly lowered their hurricane activity forecast. They expect to see 13 more tropical storms of which 8 become hurricanes. Of these hurricanes 4 will be of a Category 3 or higher. The tally of 15 total tropical storms, 8 hurricanes, 4 intense hurricane is still above the long-term average of 9.6, 5.9 and 2.3 resp. Let's hope that it won't be that bad or that all hurricanes stay out at sea! Read the full forecast on the CSU-Tropical Meteorology Project-website. Right now no tropical storms expected for awhile, though those tropical waves keep rolling off the coast of Africa and are traveling towards the islands (see the Unified Surface Analysis on the satellite imagery webpage). -Gert
Thu, 2 Aug 2007 07:57:33 -0400 (AST) - The Blob!
Good morning! Seems 99L doesn't seem to know what it wants to do. Yesterday, it was so close to making Tropical Depression status even though a bit ragged looking. After roaring past Barbados and finally into the Eastern Caribbean, it's looking much more expanded, more circular and quite large. The official forecasts do not expect it to make TD status today either but I find that one a little hard to believe. Water temperatures are optimum and shear isn't overly strong. I guess the very dry and stable atmosphere around and ahead would be the only real inhibiting factor. Time will tell on "The Blob"! Farther behind, the dust is still wreaking havoc on wave's before 50W and let's hope it continues to do so. The foot soldier waves have lined up across Africa and it's not going to stay quiet for long. Action in the Gulf of Mexico is also heating up with that mass of showers and thunderstorms having diminished a bit in intensity from yesterday but the longer it lollygags around, the better potential to ferment and brew up a storm. The last thing Texas and surrounding areas needs is more rain while Florida, while they may not like it, is putting an end to drought woes. Locally, around the Virgin Islands, we have some cloudiness but no showers yet as the system to the south hasn't thrown anything our way. Winds are pretty breezy, East 15-25 right now and rough seas offshore with small craft advisories is about it. Dave
Wednesday August 1, 2007, 11:45AM EDT - Wave
The last advisory has been issued on Chantal which has become extratropical. 99L is nearing Barbados, luckily it has not become a tropical storm yet, but squally weather is expected. It looks pretty impressive on satellite images as it moves toward Barbados, see My Satellite for close-up loops for Barbados and other islands or check out the local reports listed on the right. -Gert
Tuesday July 31, 2007, 11:40AM EDT - Chantal and 99L
Tropical Depression has been upgraded to Tropical Storm Chantal, but poses no risk to the Caribbean or Bermuda since it is already far north. The tropical wave about 600 miles from the islands, also known as 99L invest, has not become better organized. It actually looks less impressive then yesterday. It will still be a couple of days before it reaches the islands. The models still forecast more or less the same track of this system. See model results image at sfwmd.gov. -Gert
Monday July 30, 2007, 11:20PM EDT - Number Three
The National Hurricane Center has just started issuing advisories on Tropical Depression Three. Surprise, surprise, it is not the one I was writing about earlier today. Number Three is located about 270 miles north-northwest of Bermuda, and moving away from there. So nothing to worry about. It is expected to become Tropical Storm Chantal, but no hurricane. We have to keep watching the other tropical wave out there though... -Gert
Monday July 30, 2007, 3:50PM EDT - 99L
The tropical wave in the Atlantic is starting to look like it might become something... The 'blob' around 50W (see image above) is now called 99L Invest, but models show that it might become a hurricane in a couple of days, by the time it moves through the middle of the island chain (around Barbados), see model tracks at wunderground.com or sfwmd.gov or view satellite imagery. Note that model forecasts can have large errors. Time to pay attention... -Gert
Mon, 30 Jul 2007 06:35:17 -0400 (AST) - Still Quiet!
Good morning! The peacefulness continues as the third named storm of the season still hasn't manifested itself yet but that could change later in the week. The good news about our tropical wave south of the Cape Verde's is that dust from the north is settling into the system, helping to keep a lid on any deep convection. But there isn't as much dust out ahead this time and wind shear should be not as strong. Not to mention, the rocket fuel for storms, over 80 degree ocean water, has not been churned up for sometime although the thickness of the SAL layer has kept those temperatures down a degree or two than originally forecast. Wait till the dust thins out. Hmmm, we'll see. Power outages are a pain everywhere and you would think with the amount of them we have here everyone would have a generator and/or surge protectors but that's obviously not the case. I just had mine re-serviced 2 weeks ago and have used it twice already! I don't think it's the generator prices scaring people; it's the gas prices to run them! $ 3.95 for premium and the lowest I've seen for regular is $ 3.82! Over on St. Croix though, it's almost a dollar cheaper as that's where the Hovensa refinery is. Time to go back to work. TV is going fine and the website for the station is undergoing major reconstruction as I'm told. Wonder if it will take as long as...well....everything else does here! Have a safe and fun week! Dave
Tuesday July 24, 2007 - Less hurricanes then forecasted?
Good news... The 2007 hurricane season may be less severe than forecast due to cooler-than-expected water temperatures in the tropical Atlantic, private forecaster WSI Corp said on Tuesday. Read complete story. -Gert
Monday July 23, 2007 - Earthquakes
So far this hurricane season it hsa been pretty quiet, but that is not unusual. Normally it really starts mid-August (see for example historical data for the Eastern Caribbean in the Climatology-section). But there is some shaking going on. Vernon from Puerto Rico send me the following link showing recent earthquakes in Puerto Rico and surrounding areas. -Gert
Tuesday July 17, 2007 - Whoops
I messed up some 'domain name server' settings when I was trying to do some load balancing between servers. So the website was 'gone' for a bit and looked like it was hijacked :-). All should be normal again. -Gert
Wednesday July 11, 2007 - GOES/Meteosat combi
I have always been a bit frustrated that there never was a nice satellite image available covering the Caribbean Islands all the way to the African coast. The GOES satellite doesn't show the waves coming off the African Coast, while Meteosat doesn't show the islands. So I created one myself from two NOAA images. See the result on the satellite imagery-page. -Gert
Thursday July 5, 2007 10:30AM EDT - Weakened
The low pressure system closing in on the islands is not expected to become even a tropical depression. There is not much convection anymore plus the environment ahead with high wind shear is not great either. Meanwhile there is a storm brewing at the National Hurricane Center, see Jeff Masters' Wunderblog and other news stories. -Gert
Tuesday July 3, 2007 1:55AM EDT - Unified Surface Analysis
Just added another product to the satellite imagery webpage, the 'Unified Surface Analysis'. Not a satellite image, but it shows location of tropical waves and other weather features very clearly. It is produced by the Ocean Prediction Center (NOAA/NCEP). Again, I manipulated the image a bit to focus more on our area of interest. Right now it shows a 'low' behind the tropical wave in the central Atlantic. Hope it doesn't become anything. -Gert
Wednesday June 27, 2007 - SAL
M J from Culebra suggested that I should add the Saharan Air Layer satellite product to the satellite imagery web-page. This image (see example) shows the very dry air-mass coming from the African continent. People have suggested that it can prevent tropical storm formation and inhibit storm intensification. Therefore it might an important indicator of for example whether or not a Cape Verde storm will develop into a dangerous hurricane going for the islands. The image I am using originates from the excellent tropical cyclones website of the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMMS) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I changed the image a bit to focus more on the Atlantic.
Also new is that I now also feature the most recent Tropical Weather Discussion, which talks about tropical waves and other weather features. A link to it will always be placed below the current Tropical Weather Outlook below. On the Tropical Weather Discussion page I also have links to some graphical products which show the current position of tropical waves and more. -Gert
Fri, 15 Jun 2007 18:04:39 -0400 (AST) - The 3 H's
Good afternoon! As I wait to go on the set, I thought I would send a small missive to all of you in weatherland. The 3 H's are here! What ARE those you ask? Heat, humidity and HAZE. Yes, the Saharan dust is here and here with a vengeance. A look at the CIMSS website for the Saharan dust layer satellite pic shows the eastern Caribbean totally encased in the fine red stuff (The dark orange shows the strength of the dust on the image while the fine red stuff is the actual dust). Looks like it will be here for a few days but one good thing: The chances of rain are "vetch and vetch nachi"! Slim and none! Definitely not good for allergy sufferers though so please take the proper precautions. Otherwise, the tropics are pretty quiet with only the western Caribbean showing any activity. This trough better get moving because the longer it hangs around, the better chances something might form. Hurricane hunters cancelled their flight today as the system's organizational skills are still in the infant stage but there's always tomorrow. If the wind shear lessens substantially...... Florida should be seeing some more much needed rain although the lightning strikes are not needed while Cuba could use a few dry days as well as the Bahama's. Time to run. This return week has been better than expected. I guess I didn't fall off that horse as far as I thought! Have a great weekend! Dave
Wed, 6 Jun 2007 18:38:04 -0400 (AST) - To TV and Back
Good afternoon! Another beautiful, yet humid day was experienced around the territory today along with a sprinkling of light showers this afternoon but nothing to get excited or write home about. The Virgin islands are a pretty, dark shade of green currently (I guess lush would be a good word) but I know many locals who are pining for more rain. Soon come! Other than the 4.0 earthquake felt Sunday morning around 8:30 am (sounded like a big water truck and then the house shook for about 5 seconds, the only other tremblor of local note was a wild rumor early this week. Yes, it's true. I am going to go back on air as the TV 2 weatherman! Perfect timing you say? I totally agree. My second run on the small screen starts Monday at 7:00 pm and I am really looking forward to it! Please keep your fingers crossed and maybe even say a few prayers. I'm out of practice (about a year) but we all know about that horse or bicycle, don't we? An active season is forecast and the following make it an even more realistic scenario: Very warm ocean waters and the possibility of a weak La Nina forming in the Pacific! I hope everyone takes heed of our early season storms and prepares accordingly. While a busy early season doesn't necessarily mean an active "all season" it should be a heads up! One particularly caught my attention and held my interest although it was in the Pacific at the end of May: Tropical Storm Barbara! I just had to shake my head and laugh...LOL...... Dave
Sunday June 3, 2007, 18:00PM EDT - What was that?
Have been traveling for a bit (I just arrived in Holland) and see that we had a named storm, Barry, right at the official start of hurricane season. Luckily it didn't threaten the islands, but did unfortunately cause heavy rains in Florida and some other US States. -Gert
Friday June 1, 2007, 10:55AM EDT - Here we go!
Atlantic Hurricane Season has officially started today, although we already had our first named storm. Unfortunately it looks like it might be a busy year. So to everyone, good luck this season! Hoping that all the big ones will stay safely offshore! Below the tropical storm names for this season. -Gert
NAME PRONUNCIATION NAME PRONUNCIATION ------------------------------------------------------------- ANDREA LORENZO BARRY MELISSA CHANTAL SHAN TAHL- NOEL DEAN OLGA ERIN AIR- IN PABLO PA- BLOW FELIX FEEL- IX REBEKAH GABRIELLE GA BREE EL- SEBASTIEN SAY BAS- TYAN HUMBERTO OOM BAIR- TO TANYA TAHN- YA INGRID VAN JERRY WENDY KAREN
Wednesday May 23, 2007, 12:50PM EDT - Batten down your hatches
Just like the forecasters at Colorada State University, NOAA is now predicting that there is a 75% chance of having an above normal hurricane seaon. No El Nino this year, but maybe an La Nina, which normally enhances activity. On the 'bright' side, they also say that there is a 5% chance that this hurricane season activity will be below normal. Read the full news release here. -Gert
Wed, 16 May 2007 08:39:41 -0400 (AST) - Return of the Dust!
Good morning! 7 miles visibility? That's what I was told this morning at o'dark thirty as I looked out the window at St. John (4 miles away) and could only see blurry lights. Jost van Dyke (about 8 miles) was nowhere to be seen and Tortola, forget it! The wind shift from the east brought about by high pressure has brought with it a large patch of Saharan Dust which is expected to linger for a few days. If you were wishing for rain, forget it! This air mass is very dry and the only showers we will see will probably be in the mountains of Puerto Rico or our dreams. Look out for hot, hazy, muggy conditions into the weekend although it should be a tad cooler than the last few days with this wind shift. Read the post from St. Maarten. Now there's an island which is being proactive with regards to the upcoming hurricane season. I wonder what Grenada is doing? Work calls (rats!). Dave
Tue, 15 May 2007 05:45:22 -0400 (AST) - Good morning!
A very warm, muggy and hazy good morning to all! It's hurricane seaqson! No, not the Atlantic hurricane season which starts June 1st, but the Eastern Pacific season starting today. They are projecting an active one in that area as well. Also, there is a Cyclone in the Indian Ocean. No matter what time of year, it's hurricane, cyclone or typhoon season somewhere over the oceans of the world. Closer to home, other than a small thunderstorm cell to our southeast (which probably might run in to us only due to the lack of steering winds)the radar is clear. The official forecast is calling for more of the same with only an isolated shower from time to time. They also forecast the upper level winds to continue from the southwest bringing high cloudiness but not much else. Dave
Sun, 13 May 2007 07:55:22 -0400 (AST) - Hot!
A pleasant Sunday morning to all! Following our heavy rain event at the end of April has been a return of almost summer-like conditions with hot days (yesterday's high was 87 degrees), muggy conditions with humidities in the high 70's to low 80's, and water temps around 84-85. A day boat trip to Miss Mermaid country yesterday proved all 3 were in effect with a sunburn factor of 12! Hurricane season is almost officially on us but there has not been much action or talk at all. VITEMA has started to hold training sessions as well as the Red Cross for volunteers before, during, and after potential storms but the rest of the populace is doing that yearly training exercise of their own: complacent training. Today looks to be hot and humid as well, We have had persistent south eastely winds at the lower levels with high cloudiness creating a hazy look due to jet stream winds from the southwest. The southeast wind flow has brought up some warmer temps from the equatorial area plus some Montserrat ash as well. Rain chances are very small according to this mornings radar but the islands are a beautiful dark green right now so rain isn't a priority again. Yet. Dave
Wednesday May 9, 2007, 11:44AM EDT - First storm!
Oops, did I jinx it? Just a few days ago I said I was ready, and here we have the first tropical storm of the season, Andrea! It is just off the Florida coast, and is actually expected to make landfall soon, but it is moving very slowly so hard to predict exactly. However it is not expected to become a hurricane. See above the 'Andrea tools' for advisories, tracking tools, etc. Just as a side note I manipulate the Discussion-advisory issued by the National Hurricane Center a bit, so that windspeeds of the 5-day forecast are in miles per hour, instead of knots, and I also add the storm classification because I always forget the exact wind-thresholds for Category-2, 3, etc. hurricanes. -Gert
Mon, 7 May 2007 05:54:36 -0400 (AST) - Green again!
Good morning! Mother nature has done to Greensburg, Kansas in 10-15 minutes what a hurricane can do in 10-15 hours. The damage is incredible to see and understand and gives us here in the Caribbean a reality check as we are only a few weeks away from the start of the 2007 hurricane season. As Gert said, he's ready, are you? Green is the go word as our islands have spruced up since the heavy rains a few weeks ago. I have other words for these pesky, blood-thirsty and other words I can't say here mosquitoes! Culebra, did you sned them over here last week? During the time from November until just a few weeks ago, I had only been bitten twice. Since the rains, it's twice every six hours. Kinda like a presrciption you have to take. And it doesn't matter where you are: work, in the a/c, in your bed, hey, you get the picture. The government has issued a dengue alert and rightly so. With plenty of water around, these female mosquitoes (the only ones who bite) LOL..., have ample breeding opportunities and they are taking full advantage of it! Believe me, wear the bug spray as it's way, way better than contracting dengue. More rain is in the forecast due to the approaching trough from the northwest being shoved south by high pressure so a few good thunderstorms with accomapnying light show should be around could be around late today and tonight. Won't hold my breath though. Dave
Sunday May 6, 2007, 19:00PM EDT - I am ready!
I have just moved all 2006 information to the archive, the hurricane names have been updated, the reports from the correspondents have been filed and cleaned up for this season and many, many other little and not so little things to make this website run smoothly. I also made the donate-logo a bit more prominent. Unfortunately it does cost money to operate this website... I am ready for the new 2007 season. Are you!!?? -Gert
Maintained & moderated by: Gert van Dijken (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Weather discussions also by Dave McDermott, St.Thomas, USVI.
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