Belize Tropical Weather Outlook: October 20, 2020

(Click "refresh page" to be sure you are seeing the latest information...)

Click the arrow on the upper right side to remove the right column ads and settings, thus viewing the whole map.

Area wind information

Belize NMS Forecast

October 20, 2020

At 3:00am the center of Tropical Storm Epsilon was located near latitude 25.6N, longitude 54.7W, or about 765 miles SE of Bermuda. Maximum sustained winds were near 45 mph and the system was moving ENE at 3 mph.

USA National Weather Service Forecast

October 20, 2020

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

The National Hurricane Center is issuing advisories on Tropical Storm Epsilon, located over the central Atlantic several hundred miles southeast of Bermuda.

A trough of low pressure extends southeastward from the southeastern Gulf of Mexico across the northwestern Caribbean Sea to a broad low pressure system located over the southwestern Caribbean Sea. This system is currently accompanied by disorganixed shower and thunderstorm activity. The disturbance is expected to consolidate over the northwestern Caribbean Sea during the next day or so before moving slowly westward toward the Yucatan peninsula by Wednesday. Regardless of development, the system could bring locally heavy rainfall to portions of central and western Cuba, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and the Yucatan peninsula through midweek.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...low...10 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days...low...10 percent.

Tropical Weather Discussion

...Special features...

Tropical Storm Epsilon is centered near 25.6N 54.7W at 20/0900 UTC or 660 nm SE of Bermuda moving ENE at 3 kt. Estimated minimum central pressure is 998 mb. Maximum sustained wind speed is 40 kt with gusts to 50 kt. Seas are up to 23 ft, with 12 ft seas extending 540 nm NE quadrant, 60 nm SE quadrant, 270 nm SW quadrant, and 480 nm NW quadrant. Scattered moderate to isolated strong convection is north of 20N between 36W-58W. A turn toward the north and northwest is expected later today, with a general northwestward motion expected through Thursday. On the forecast track, Epsilon is forecast to approach Bermuda on Thursday. Please read the latest NHC Public Advisory at and the Forecast/Advisory at MIATCMAT2.shtml for more details.

...Tropical Waves...

A tropical wave extends across the east Atlantic with axis along 18N from 03N-17N, moving W at 10-15 kt. Scattered moderate to isolated strong convection is noted from 04N-10N between 17W- 27W.

An Atlantic tropical wave has an axis along 44W from 00N-14N, moving W at 10 kt. No significant convection is related to this wave at this time.

An Atlantic tropical wave has an axis along 54W from 02N-17N, moving W at 10-15 kt. No significant convection is related to this wave at this time.

An eastern Caribbean tropical wave has an axis along 70W from 08N-19N, moving W at about 10 kt. Scattered moderate to isolated strong convection is noted along and west of the wave axis mainly between 70W-73W.

A western Caribbean tropical wave has an axis along 87W from 20N southward, moving westward at 10 kt. Scattered showers are noted in the vicinity of the wave, affecting Central America at this time.

...The Caribbean Sea...

Please refer to the Tropical Waves section above for information on the two tropical waves in this basin.

A 1007 mb surface low in the SW Caribbean is located near 12N81W with a trough extending NW from the low to 24N87W. Scattered moderate convection is noted across the west-central Caribbean between 70W-84W. Scatterometer data depicts gentle to moderate trades across the basin. Seas average between 3-5 ft, except 4-6 ft in the Yucatan Channel.

The tropical wave over the western Caribbean will move inland over the Yucatan Peninsula and Central America today. The broad area of low pressure in the west-central Caribbean is forecast to move slowly westward toward the Yucatan peninsula over the next day or two. Expect unsettled weather over the western Caribbean and near the Yucatan Peninsula through Wed.

48 Hour Forecast - Favorable Environmental Conditions For Tropical Development

Infrared Satellite in Belize City

Tropical Storm Epsilon southeast of Bermuda and watching for development in the western Caribbean

October 20, 2020

Tropical Storm Epsilon is located at 25.6 N 54.7 W with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph, moving ENE at 3 mph, pressure 998 mb.

Tropical Storm Epsilon is moving slowly northward at this time in the central Atlantic Ocean. This storm is located along the western end of a front that stretches across the central and northeastern Atlantic.

Epsilon is expected to remain very slow over its current location for the next 12 hours. The storm is forecast to make a turn to the west or northwest and gradually intensify Tuesday and Wednesday. Interests in Bermuda should closely monitor the progress of this system as there is some potential for the storm to pass very close to the islands later Thursday and Friday as a Category 1 hurricane.

A second area of concern is across the southwestern Caribbean as a broad area of low pressure is forecast to develop during the upcoming week. Waters are very warm across the region, and the atmosphere will be sufficiently moist. Wind shear may be a limiting factor, however, and the ultimate development prospects are heavily skewed toward the magnitude and duration of the wind shear. As such, a moderate risk for development is assigned to the area for later this week or early this weekend.

Should the shear be strong, then development into an organized tropical system would be unlikely with a disorganized area of low pressure then expected to move into the Gulf of Mexico. On the other hand, if the shear is weak, then there is some potential for a significant system to develop and pose a threat to the Yucatan Peninsula, Jamaica, Cuba, Florida and the Bahamas. All interests across these regions should monitor the situation closely this week.

120 Hour Forecast - Favorable Environmental Conditions For Tropical Development

Tropical Storm Epsilon Likely Will Become A Hurricane By Thursday, But Is Expected To Pass To The East Of Bermuda; Will We Or Wont We See Tropical Development In The Western Caribbean
Rob Lightbown of Crown Weather Services
October 20, 2020

Tropical Storm Epsilon sure doesnít look like a ďclassicĒ tropical cyclone today as it appears to have some frontal boundaries attached to it. In fact, it looks a lot more sub-tropical than tropical. The reason why it is still being designated a tropical storm rather than a sub-tropical storm is due to the small overall wind field of the storm. If this was a sub-tropical storm, it would have a much larger and more expansive wind field. Also, the deeper convection is very close to the center, which says to me that this is a tropical storm and not a sub-tropical storm even though it has frontal like boundaries near it.

Epsilon seems to be gradually strengthening today & slow, but gradual strengthening is likely to continue for the next few days and it is still fairly likely that the storm will become a hurricane by about Thursday and remain a hurricane into this weekend.

As for a forecast track, Epsilon has begun to move on a northwesterly track as itís being steered by a high pressure ridge to its northeast. This northwesterly track is likely to continue through the end of this week, but it seems the storm is far enough east so that it will pass far enough east of Bermuda to spare the island of significant impacts.

With that said, Epsilon likely will still pass close enough to Bermuda to bring some squally weather on Friday.

Turning To The Western Caribbean: I really donít know what to think in regards to whether we see development or not in the Caribbean. Satellite imagery today indicates there are some convection occurring over the southwestern Caribbean that should be monitored, just in case, especially since wind shear values are favorable for development.

In addition, the overall pattern over the next week or so is going to be supportive of tropical development in the western Caribbean, especially once Epsilon moves away to the northeast by this weekend. With that said, itís not a slam dunk and Iím pretty skeptical now that we will even see tropical development in the western Caribbean.

The model guidance have all almost dropped the forecast of tropical development. The UKMET, the 00Z GFS, the Canadian model and the European model all forecast no tropical development in the western Caribbean. On the other hand, the 06Z GFS model and the 06Z NAVGEM model now forecasts tropical development in the western Caribbean next week.

Here Are My Thoughts: Letís not sleep on this as I think there is a chance that we will eventually see tropical development in the western Caribbean, it just may not occur until next week sometime. As I mentioned yesterday, this still looks to be much more of a wait and see situation in regards to potential tropical development in the western Caribbean.

At this point, I continue to be skeptical that we will see tropical development occur. With that said, given the favorable overall weather pattern of rising barometric pressures over the eastern United States and subsequent lowering barometric pressures over the Caribbean, I do think that it is something that does need to be watched, just in case.

Since Epsilon is likely now to not significantly impact Bermuda, the next tropical weather discussion will be issued on Thursday.

Tropical Storm Epsilon forms in the central Atlantic, Keep an eye on the western Caribbean this week
Jeff Masters, Yale Climate Connections

October 19, 2020

GeoColor satellite image of Tropical Storm Epsilon at 11:20 a.m. EDT Monday, October 19. (Image credit: RAMMB/CIRA/Colorado State University)

Tropical Storm Epsilon formed in the central Atlantic 735 miles southeast of Bermuda at 11 a.m. Monday, October 19, 2020, becoming the 26th named storm of this record-busy 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. Epsilon is expected to threaten Bermuda as a category 1 hurricane on Friday, but it is not a landfall threat for the U.S.

Epsilonís October 19 arrival marks the earliest date that any Atlantic season has produced its 26th named storm, surpassing the record held by Delta from November 22, 2005. In total, 23 of the 26 2020 named storms have set records for being the earliest-arriving for their respective letter; only Arthur, Bertha, and Dolly fell short.

The Atlantic typically has over 85% of its activity by this date. So far, there have been 26 named storms, nine hurricanes, three intense hurricanes, and an accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) index of 123 (34% above average for the date). Only one Atlantic hurricane season since 1851 has had more named storms during an entire season: 2005, with 28 named storms. According to Colorado State University hurricane scientist Phil Klotzbach, the averages for this point in the season are 10.6 named storms, 5.5 hurricanes, 2.5 intense hurricanes, and an ACE index of 92.

Moderate wind shear of 10 Ė 20 knots and warm ocean temperatures near 27.5 Celsius (82įF) will favor development of Epsilon through Tuesday. However, the system is embedded in a dry atmosphere with a mid-level relative humidity of 45%, which will slow its development. By Wednesday, Epsilon will move into a region with light wind shear of less than 5 knots, which will favor more rapid strengthening.

Epsilon will meander slowly through Tuesday, but a ridge of high pressure is predicted to build over the Atlantic by mid-week, forcing the storm on a west-northwest to northwest track that will put it near or to the east of Bermuda on Friday. As Epsilon progresses to the northwest, cooler ocean temperatures will limit the amount of intensification that can occur. By the time Epsilon makes its closest approach to Bermuda on Friday, ocean temperatures will be near 26.5 degrees Celsius (80įF), which is marginally warm enough to support a category 3 hurricane. The 12Z Monday run of the SHIPS model gave Epsilon a 19% chance of becoming a category 3 hurricane with 115 mph winds by Thursday.

Keep an eye on the western Caribbean this week
A broad area of low pressure has formed over the western Caribbean. Over the past weekend, the GFS model and its ensembles were suggesting that this low could produce a hurricane during the last week of October, but they have backed off considerably from that idea in recent runs. In the 6Z Monday run of the GFS ensemble model, about 20% of the 31 forecasts predicted that a hurricane would be spawned by the western Caribbean low by next week; just one of the 51 members of the 0Z Monday European model ensemble predicted a hurricane. Any storm that does form in the region would likely move slowly west or west-northwest, potentially bringing heavy rains to Cuba and/or Mexicoís Yucatan Peninsula. In a 2 p.m. EDT Monday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave two-day and five-day odds of development of 10% to this system.

CLICK HERE for the website for Belize National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO)

Last edited by Marty; 12 hours ago.