The Tropics Come Alive. Don’t Panic.

I mean, it’s like it’s the peak of the tropical season or something.

At the time of this writing on Friday evening, we had one barely-hanging-on Tropical Depression, a probably-going-to-become-a-depression tropical disturbance, a might-one-day-be-a-depression tropical wave, and even some blobs in the Gulf of Mexico that don’t seem to have any intention of doing anything. Let’s break it all down.

The most-impactful to the Attractions area is this… whatever… that continues to futz around off the Southeastern Florida Coast. The low pressure system got its act together throughout the course of the day Friday, to the point that the National Hurricane Center now has it at a 90% chance of developing into a tropical depression in the upcoming week… and a 70% chance of hitting that status by the end of this weekend. A quick glance at the visible satellite from earlier in the day today shows some rapid convection boiling up over Grand Bahama.

Satellite Image

The Miami radar gives us the range to see as far out as Castaway Cay, but because the radar beam is about 25,000 feet above the ground at that distance, you can only make out the tallest of the thunderstorms… and tropical systems are notorious for relatively low cloud tops. The system did manage to spawn a few waterspouts off the coast of Miami/Ft. Lauderdale.

Miami Radar at 6:30PM
Miami radar at 6:30PM Friday

So what of it for Central Florida? The system does indeed show signs that it will strengthen, but thankfully the current thinking is that this is NOT a wind storm for us. Early on over the next 12-24 hours it might jump over land in south Florida, but then it should move offshore and that will likely stay mostly off the coast after that. We might get some rain impacts though in the attractions area for a day or so while it’s scooting away.

Further afield, there’s another system out in the Atlantic that now has about a 70% chance of becoming a tropical system in the upcoming week. The early forecast models put it generally on a track toward Cuba, but it’s far too early to know anything about what that’s going to do and if it’ll even take that track.

And yes, Chantal is still just hanging on out there in the northern Atlantic. But she’s not bothering anybody except a few fish who are probably doing whatever the fish equivalent is of hitting the ceiling with a broomstick and telling the upstairs neighbors to knock it off.

Tropical Weather Outlook
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL
800 PM EDT Fri Aug 23 2019

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

The National Hurricane Center is issuing advisories on Tropical
Depression Chantal, located several hundred miles west of the

1. A broad area of low pressure located near the coast of southeastern
Florida continues to produce a large area of showers and
thunderstorms that extend eastward over the northern Bahamas and the
adjacent western Atlantic waters.  The system has changed little in
organization since this afternoon, but environmental conditions are
expected to be conducive for gradual development, and a tropical
depression is likely to form over the weekend.  The low is forecast
to move generally northwestward near or over southeastern Florida
through tonight, and then move northward to northeastward over the
Atlantic near the east coast of central Florida on Saturday.  After
that, the system is expected to move northeastward offshore of the
southeastern United States coast. Regardless of development, locally
heavy rains are possible over the northwestern Bahamas and the
southern and central Florida peninsula through the weekend.
Interests in the northwestern Bahamas, the Florida peninsula, and
the southeast coast of the United States should monitor the progress
of this system.  An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is
scheduled to investigate the system on Saturday, if necessary.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...high...70 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days...high...90 percent.

2. Satellite imagery suggests that the circulation associated with an
area of low pressure located about 1100 miles east-southeast of
the Windward Islands has become better defined, but the thunderstorm
activity is limited at this time.  Environmental conditions appear
conducive for additional development, and a tropical depression is
likely to form over the weekend or early next week while it moves
generally westward to west-northwestward near 15 mph.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...medium...60 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days...high...70 percent.

1 comment on “The Tropics Come Alive. Don’t Panic.

  1. Pingback: Meet Dorian. Don’t Panic. – Meteottractions

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