Rob Lightbown of Crown Weather Services
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 10:14 am
A frontal boundary is pushing into the central and southern Gulf of Mexico and is forecast to enter the northern Caribbean by Friday where it is expected to stall out over the weekend. Additionally, an area of disturbed weather is located over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico and the Bay of Campeche this morning. Environmental conditions aren’t exactly favorable for development and I don’t think we’ll see much if any development from it. With that said, this area of disturbed weather will be monitored.
Now, that frontal system which is expected to stall over the northern Caribbean will need to be watched for possible tropical development next week. Some of the forecast guidance, including the GFS model, is now consistently forecasting the development of a tropical cyclone between October 28th and November 4th. There are large differences in the details of the exact location and strength of this forecast tropical cyclone depending on which forecast model you look at.
Now, the setup starting next week seems to suggest we have a fairly decent chance of seeing a tropical cyclone form in the Caribbean as there will be a stalled frontal boundary in the vicinity with a significant trough of low pressure developing over the central and eastern United States by about October 31st. This will lead to rising air and thunderstorm development over the Caribbean next week into possibly the following week and this development could lead to the formation of a tropical cyclone.
So, the forecast guidance is showing the start of this development to occur in about seven days from now (around October 30th) with the GFS model showing the development occurring south of Jamaica and a track into the northwestern Caribbean by early November. The Canadian model guidance has a completely different forecast in that it forecasts a tropical cyclone to develop near Bermuda around October 29th and a track northeastward from there. Now, it seems the European model guidance also forecasts a low pressure system near Bermuda on October 29th and a track northeastward into the open Atlantic. Finally, the FIM model guidance shows the development of a tropical cyclone over the central Caribbean around Monday with a track just south of Jamaica on Tuesday and a landfall in Central America next Wednesday.
I continue to think tropical cyclone development is quite possible somewhere in the Caribbean, most likely west of 70 West Longitude between October 28th and November 2nd. I agree with the ensemble guidance which is pointing to about a 30 to 40 percent chance for tropical development over the central and western Caribbean between October 28th and November 2nd. Anything that develops in the Caribbean will likely remain in the Caribbean and I see very little if any chance that this is pulled northward into the Gulf of Mexico.