Rob Lightbown of Crown Weather Services
June 22, 2013 1000 am EDT/900 am CDT
A quiet weekend is expected across the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean and the Atlantic with no tropical cyclone development expected. This quiet with no tropical development is anticipated to last into early next week before activity begins ramping up again for what could be a very busy July in the tropics.
I'm also keeping tabs on a tropical wave way out near 40 West Longitude. This disturbance is expected to impact Barbados and the Windward Islands on Tuesday with gusty winds to 40 mph, heavy rain with squalls & rough seas. This tropical wave is then expected to propagate across the Caribbean and may be the trigger that sets off tropical development in the far western Caribbean at the very end of this month.
The upward motion pulse of the Madden Julian Oscillation, which is basically a disturbance in the upper atmosphere which contributes to thunderstorm and tropical development, is expected to move into the Atlantic Basin by the first week of July and hang around through a good part of July. This could lead to a very active July with 2 to possibly 3 tropical storms or hurricanes developing during July.
The long range forecast guidance is really starting to sniff out possible development in the western Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico starting as early as late next week and continuing into the first week of July. These forecast guidance members have been very consistent in this forecast and it is starting to make me sit up and take notice. This forecast of a ramp up in activity is strongly supported by the ensemble guidance which is forecasting significantly falling barometric pressures in the western Caribbean starting around the 1st of July.
So, the latest forecast from the operational GFS model is consistently forecasting that an area of disturbed weather will morph into a tropical cyclone as we head into next weekend and towards the first full week of July in pretty much the same area we saw Andrea and Barry develop. The GFS model then isn’t very consistent in where this tropical system will head with previous forecasts showing landfalls anywhere from the Big Bend area of Florida to Louisiana to Pensacola to Mobile Bay right around a date of July 1st or July 2nd.
00 UTC GFS Model Guidance Showing Tropical Cyclone Landfall On July 1st:
06 UTC GFS Model Guidance Also Forecasting Tropical Cyclone Landfall Around July 1st:
The environmental conditions that are forecast next weekend into the first few days of July are such that conditions will be quite favorable for development and strengthening. This is something that will really need to be watched for.
Now, if you compare what it looks like right now out in the tropical Atlantic to what is forecast about 2 weeks from now, you will see a very different landscape with a lot more disturbed weather forecast. This should be expected with the upward motion pulse of the Madden Julian Oscillation.
What The Tropics Look Like Right Now (Quiet):
Tropical Atlantic Forecast For 2 Weeks From Now (Much Different):
Finally, I want to strongly emphasize that this year is much, much different than last year. During the 2012 hurricane season we saw that much of the activity develop north of the Caribbean and outside of the normal hurricane producing areas. This year it seems that things are primed for tropical storm and hurricane development. Ocean water temperatures are very warm, the upper level winds seem to be more favorable this year to support development and any upward motion pulses of the Madden Julian Oscillation will just set things off.
So, in conclusion, while things will be quiet for this weekend into next week, we will really have to sit up and pay attention starting next weekend and especially as we get into the first week of July. Given all of the parameters present (very warm ocean water temperatures, favorable upper level winds, upward motion pulse of the Madden Julian Oscillation), I think we are in for a very busy July with the formation of up to 3 tropical storms or hurricanes during July.
Needless to say, this is something that I will be monitoring very closely. Keep checking back for further updates as I will continue to have frequent updates on any possible tropical developments in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic.