The National Hurricane Center is issuing watch on a tropical wave located over the eastern Caribbean Sea and is producing a large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms. The wave is expected to move slowly westward into more conducive environmental conditions during the next several days, and a tropical depression is likely to form late this week or this weekend when the wave reaches the central or western Caribbean Sea. It has a low (20 percent) chance of formation during the next 48 hours and a high (80 percent) chance during the next five days. Regardless of development, this system is expected to bring heavy rainfall along with possible flash flooding to the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and portions of Hispaniola during the next couple of days.
Invest 98L gets discussed at 11:05 in this video. Itís still at least 5-6 days out and a lot could change. At the moment it is looking like Eta revisited on the models but time will tell.
A tropical wave (designated as Invest 98L) now moving through the eastern Caribbean will encounter conducive conditions for development over the central and western Caribbean over the next few days. Model guidance has suggested that a low-level center may develop, and with warm waters and low shear, there is a high chance that we see tropical development with this feature. After Theta, Iota is the next name on the list. The steering environment over the Caribbean is likely to become weak over the next several days, so all bets are off with the ultimate track of that system, should it develop.
Low pressure has developed in the central Caribbean in association to a tropical wave. Convection associated to this low is gradually becoming better organized. Environmental conditions are favorable for further development. This tropical wave located over the central Caribbean Sea continues to produce a large area of showers and thunderstorms. Satellite imagery indicates that the disturbance is gradually becoming better organized, and a tropical depression will likely form during the next 2 to 3 days as it moves slowly westward over the central and western Caribbean Sea. Regardless of development, this system is expected to bring heavy rainfall along with possible flash flooding to the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and portions of Hispaniola over the next day or so.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...high...70 percent. * Formation chance through 5 days...high...90 percent.
A tropical wave (designated as Invest 98L) now moving through the eastern Caribbean will encounter conducive conditions for development over the central and western Caribbean over the next few days. Model guidance has suggested that a low-level center may develop, and with warm waters and low shear, there is a high chance that we see tropical development with this feature on Friday or over the weekend. After Theta, Iota is the next name on the list. The steering environment over the Caribbean would likely take it westward into the weekend, and areas of Honduras and Nicaragua that were hard hit by Eta last week will be areas of concern for impacts of flooding rain and strong winds early next week.
98L likely to become Tropical Storm Iota in the Caribbean this weekend
A tropical wave in the eastern Caribbean, designated 98L by NHC, was bringing heavy rains to the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic on Wednesday. A flash flood watch was posted for eastern Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, where 2-4 inches of rain was predicted. Satellite imagery showed that 98Lís heavy thunderstorm activity was disorganized, but the cloud pattern at mid-levels was beginning to show some spin, and the system appeared poised to take advantage of favorable conditions for development: moderate wind shear of 10-20 knots, warm SSTs of 29 degrees Celsius (84įF), and a moist atmosphere.
The top three models for predicting tropical cyclone genesis were giving 98L strong support for development by this weekend, when the wave will likely be in the central or southwestern Caribbean, between Jamaica and Nicaragua. The wave is predicted to move west-southwestward and then westward at about 5-10 mph under the steering influence of a ridge of high pressure to its north, resulting in a potential threat to Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and Central America this weekend. Conditions for development will be favorable through Monday, with the SHIPS model predicting light to moderate wind shear of 5-15 knots, warm SSTs of 29-29.5 degrees Celsius (84-85įF), and a moist atmosphere with a mid-level relative humidity of 65-70%.
These conditions are very similar to what Hurricane Eta experienced in its formative stages in the Caribbean in late October, and 98L is a threat to intensify into a hurricane that will affect the same areas of the Caribbean impacted by Hurricane Eta. In particular, Nicaragua and Honduras, which were devastated by Hurricane Eta, appear at great risk of receiving heavy rains from 98L beginning on Monday. The 0Z, 6Z, and 12Z Wednesday runs of the GFS model, which showed 98L affecting Nicaragua as a hurricane on Tuesday, are quite concerning.
In a 1 p.m. EST Wednesday tropical weather outlook, NHC gave 98L two-day and five-day odds of development of 30% and 80%, respectively. The next name on the Atlantic list of storms is Iota, the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet.
That area of interest INVEST 98L is yet another bunch of ITCZ swellups. Very typical, but not normally so late in the season, and the sea surface is still warm. But, if the wind directions are such, then these ITCZ storms, can be bunched together and start to rotate, then they can develop into tropical Storms.
The hurricane tracking sources are predicting a very strong storm that will impact Central America... Honduras, in particular, and Belize as well.
Very high winds and more rain... lots of rain.
By Monday, we should be seeing a well developed system. The ground is saturated and not going to be receptive to absorbing more rain.
Invest 98-L Located In The Central Caribbean Likely Will Become Our Thirtieth Named Storm Of The Season In The Next Couple Of Days
A tropical disturbance now located over the central Caribbean is very likely to become our next named storm of the season (Iota) within the next couple of days. Satellite imagery today indicates that the shower and thunderstorm activity with Invest 98-L is becoming better organized and it appears that the disturbance will be entering an area of favorable conditions for development.
I do think that we will see a further increase in development with Invest 98-L over the next 12 to 24 hours, enough for it to be upgraded to a tropical depression. Additional strengthening is then likely during Friday and it is very likely that this system will attain tropical storm strength sometime on Friday & then hurricane strength in the western Caribbean sometime this weekend.
Some of the intensity guidance are very aggressive in their forecasts with how strong Invest 98-L may become. The ICON and SHIPs model forecast that this system will become a Category 2 to 3 hurricane by late this weekend. Meanwhile the HWRF and HMON models, which have done extremely well with forecasting tropical systemís strength this season, forecasts this system will rapidly intensify in the western Caribbean beginning on Sunday and peak at Category 4 to Category 5 strength by Monday.
As for the forecast track of Invest 98-L, a general westward track seems very likely for at least the next few days as itís steered this way by a high pressure ridge over the eastern United States.
By early next week, there is some divergence in the guidance with the track consensus showing this system making landfall in northern Honduras on Monday night. Meanwhile, the HWRF and HMON models forecast a further north track that takes this system towards the Yucatan Peninsula.
Turning to next week, weíll have to see how strong the high pressure ridge actually is. I suspect that the European model is up to its old tricks of forecasting too strong of a high pressure ridge and pushing this system inland too quickly. If this system becomes a very major hurricane like I think it will, it may be pulled slightly to the west-northwest and northwest by any troughs of low pressure passing across the United States. This means that Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula could be at significant threat around Monday or Tuesday.
I urge all interests in the western Caribbean, including the Cayman Islands, Central America, Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula to keep extremely close tabs on the progress of Invest 98-L. This system could be a major problem as we get into the weekend and early next week.
For further information on tropical conditions, check the daily Tropical Weather Outlook, click here
A disturbance, known as a tropical wave to meteorologists, was spinning across the central Caribbean and triggering a large area of showers and thunderstorms to the south of Hispaniola on Thursday. Satellite images showed that the feature was becoming better organized with a weak swirling motion visible in the clouds.
Conditions will be conducive for further strengthening as waters remain very warm -- around 84 degrees Fahrenheit -- in the area where the disturbance is churning. The weak wind pattern over the Caribbean will also likely factor into intensification of the system over the next several days.
A tropical cyclone is threatening to take shape in nearly the same exact place that Eta formed less than two weeks ago. "This feature is likely to become a tropical depression on Friday, a tropical storm this weekend and then perhaps a hurricane during Sunday night or Monday as it moves westward," Kottlowski said.
In the early stages of development, the system will tend to be rather spread out in nature with showers and thunderstorms extending from the northern shores of South America to the large islands of the northern Caribbean. But as the system organizes and strengthens, showers and thunderstorms will become more compact over the western Caribbean this weekend. The disturbed weather could once again expand in areal coverage and intensity as the system nears Central America early next week.
It is possible the system's path may become erratic as it approaches and moves over Central America, since the winds expected to guide the system along are likely to weaken -- a similar scenario to what unfolded as Eta neared the region in early November.
New Weather Disturbance Could Threaten Belize
With eighteen days left in the hurricane season, another tropical wave has formed in the Caribbean. And, like Eta, it seems to be heading straight for Central America. Tropical wave "Iota", as it has been named after the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet, is expected to turn into a tropical depression in the next two to three days.
Right now, it's just a disturbance, which is dubbed Invest 98L, producing showers and thunderstorms over the central Caribbean Sea right now.
Here's more on the system and its potential:
We will continue to monitor this new weather system.
Potential future Iota would be the 30th storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which is two more storms than the previous record for a season set in 2005.
A tropical wave located over the central Caribbean Sea continues to produce a large area of showers and thunderstorms. This system has become a little better organized during the past several hours. Additional development is expected, and a tropical depression will likely form within the next day or two as it moves slowly westward over the central and western Caribbean Sea. Interests in Honduras and Nicaragua should closely monitor the progress of this system. Regardless of development, this disturbance is expected to bring heavy rainfall along with possible flash flooding to portions of Hispaniola over the next day or so. For more detailed information, refer to products issued by your local weather office. * Formation chance through 48 hours...high...90 percent. * Formation chance through 5 days...high...90 percent.
The shower and thunderstorm activity with Invest 98-L continues to become better organized today and we will likely see it become our next tropical depression and very likely our 30th named storm of the season as soon as this afternoon or tonight.
A ridge of high pressure building to the north of Invest 98-L will not only lead to a very favorable environment for strengthening, but also will steer this system to the west throughout this weekend. The track model guidance consensus (TVCN model) forecasts that this system will make landfall near the Honduras-Nicaragua border on Monday as a Category 2 hurricane. Meanwhile, the HWRF and HMON models insist on a further north track and much stronger hurricane with both models insisting on a major hurricane strike of Category 3 to Category 4 caliber on Belize and the eastern Yucatan Peninsula by the middle part of next week. Itís interesting to see that the UKMET model has shifted its track a little closer to the HWRF and HMON guidance, so this will be something to watch.
At this point, I think itís likely that this system will stay far enough south of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands to not be a problem. At this point, I am very concerned about another major hurricane impact on Nicaragua and Honduras that looks to occur on Monday. I also have concerns about this system heading west-northwest and even northwest as it gets near Central America leading to a major hurricane impact on Belize and the eastern Yucatan Peninsula around Wednesday. The way it could do this is if Invest 98-L becomes a major hurricane within the next 2 to 3 days and it gets tugged northward a little by any little weaknesses in the high pressure ridge.
I urge everyone across Nicaragua, Honduras, Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula to keep extremely close tabs on the progress of this system and be ready for hurricane conditions.
For further information on tropical conditions, check the daily Tropical Weather Outlook, click here
...NEW TROPICAL DEPRESSION FORMS IN THE CENTRAL CARIBBEAN SEA... ...EXPECTED TO STRENGTHEN AND APPROACH CENTRAL AMERICA AS A HURRICANE EARLY NEXT WEEK...
At 1000 AM EST (1500 UTC), the center of Tropical Depression Thirty-One was located near latitude 14.2 North, longitude 74.3 West. The depression is moving toward the west-southwest near 7 mph (11 km/h) and this motion is expected to continue through early Saturday. A westward to west-northwestward motion at a slightly faster forward speed is expected to begin by late Saturday and continue through early Monday. On the forecast track, the system will move across the central Caribbean Sea during the next day or so, and approach the coasts of Nicaragua and northeastern Honduras late Sunday and Monday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 km/h) with higher gusts. The depression is forecast to strengthen into a tropical storm later today or tonight. Additional strengthening is likely over the weekend, and the system could be near major hurricane strength when it approaches Central America.
The estimated minimum central pressure is 1007 mb (29.74 inches).
Deep convection associated with the area of low pressure over the central Caribbean Sea has increased and become more concentrated since yesterday. One-minute GOES-16 visible satellite imagery shows that the circulation has also become better defined, with a westerly component seen in the low-cloud motion near the southwestern edge of the primary convective mass. Subjective Dvorak intensity estimates from both TAFB and SAB are T2.0, indicating that the convection has become sufficiently organized for the system to be classified as a tropical depression. The initial wind speed is set at 30 kt, in line with the Dvorak classifications.
Environmental conditions of low vertical wind shear, warm sea surface temperatures, and a moist atmosphere favor intensification over the next few days. Given the current broad and sprawling structure of the system, strengthening may begin as gradual today, but once an inner core organizes, steady-to-rapid strengthening appears likely. While the SHIPS rapid intensification index does not show very high chances of rapid strengthening for any one 24-h period over the next few days, it does indicate a 50/50 chance (nearly 10 times the climatological mean) of a 65-kt increase in wind speed over the next 72 hours. As a result, the NHC forecast calls for significant strengthening during the 24 to 72 hour time period, and the system could approach the coast of Central America as a major hurricane in a few days. The NHC track forecast at days 4 and 5 shows the system weakening over land, however some of the track guidance keeps the system just off the coast on Honduras at that time. If a more northern track occurs, the system could be stronger at 96 and 120 h if it remains over water.
The depression is moving west-southwestward at about 6 kt. A strong mid-level ridge that lies over Florida and the western Atlantic should steer the cyclone west-southwestward during the next 12 to 24 hours. After that time, the ridge is forecast to begin sliding eastward, and a westward to west-northwestward motion should begin. On the foreast track, the cyclone is expected to approach the coast of Central America in 60-72 h. The track guidance is in good agreement through the first couple of days, but there is increasing cross-track spread after that time. The HMON, HWRF, and GFS show a track near or north of the coast of Honduras after 72 hours, while the ECMWF and UKMET are farther south. For now, the NHC track is near the middle of the guidance envelope between the HFIP corrected consensus model and the TCVA multi-model consensus.
The depression is expected to strengthen to a hurricane while it approaches the coast of Central America, and there is a risk of dangerous wind, storm surge, and rainfall impacts across portions of Nicaragua and Honduras beginning Sunday night. Hurricane Watches will likely be issued for a portion of this area tonight.
Through Wednesday morning, heavy rainfall from Tropical Depression Thirty-One may lead to life-threatening flash flooding and river flooding across portions of Haiti, Jamaica and Central America. Flooding and landslides from heavy rainfall could be significant across Central America given recovery efforts underway after Hurricane Eta.
NEMO ADVISORY #1: TROPICAL DEPRESSION 31 FORMS IN THE CENTRAL CARIBBEAN
The National Meteorological Services of Belize and NEMO hereby inform the general public that Tropical Depression 31 formed over the central Caribbean Sea. The depression was centered near latitude 14.2N, longitude 74.3W or about 310 miles south-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica. It was moving to the west-southwest at 7mph with maximum sustained winds of 35mph. There are no coastal Watches or Warnings at this time. TD 31 is forecast to continue moving west south-westward through to tomorrow morning and then turn towards the west and then west-northwest later with an increase in forward speed. Strengthening is expected and this system could potentially develop into a major hurricane before it reaches the coast of north-eastern Honduras or Nicaragua late on Sunday and Monday. There is a lot of uncertainty in the track for this system after that time. Some models take it just north of Honduras while some have it making landfall and weakening. In any event, this system has the potential to bring heavy rainfall and flooding over Belize in the coming week.
Flood conditions persist in the Belize District flood as the Belize River recedes in the west. The receding water continues to flood the Belize River Valley and communities along the George Price Highway. Communities in rural Belize including Hattieville, Freetown Sibun, and Gracie Rock all the way down to miles 1, 4, 8 and 12 on the George Price Highway the floodwaters are rising and are expected to continue rise. Eight shelters remain open mostly in the Cayo and Belize rural areas.
All major highways are open. Spanish Lookout and Valley of Peace are accessible. Bullet Tree Bridge is open. Calla Creek is accessible from the George Price Highway and through Bullet Tree village. The entrance to Benque and Succotz on the George Price Highway is accessible all the way to Arenal. The Low Lying and Iguana Creek Bridges remains impassable. The Hammock Bridge in Calla Creek has been washed away. The Coastal Road is open but not to heavy vehicles due to the Manatee Bridge.
TD 31 is predicted to move west-southwestward through Saturday morning at about 5-10 mph, under the steering influence of a ridge of high pressure to its north. By Saturday afternoon, this ridge will slide to the east, resulting in a more westerly to west-northwesterly motion of TD 31 through Wednesday. On this track, TD 31 will pass about 300 miles south of Jamaica on Saturday, then make landfall near the Nicaragua/Honduras border on Monday, as predicted by the European and UKMET models.
However, in a worst-case scenario for Honduras, Guatemala, and Belize, TD 31 could slide just north of Honduras, moving parallel to and just offshore of the coast, allowing the storm to maintain its strength longer and subjecting the region to much higher rainfall totals. This is the prediction of the HWRF and HMON models and many of the members of the GFS ensemble forecast. At present, there is almost no model support for the idea that TD 31 might move northward into the Gulf of Mexico and threaten the U.S., as so many other storms this year have done.
...IOTA MOVING SLOWLY WEST-SOUTHWESTWARD AND FORECAST TO STRENGTHEN... ...RISK OF DANGEROUS WINDS, STORM SURGE, AND RAINFALL IMPACTS IN CENTRAL AMERICA BEGINNING MONDAY...
At 400 AM EST (0900 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Iota was located near latitude 13.5 North, longitude 74.8 West. Iota is moving toward the west-southwest near 5 mph (7 km/h). A westward motion with some increase in forward speed is expected to begin later today and continue through Monday. On the forecast track, Iota will move across the central Caribbean Sea during the next day or so, and approach the coasts of Nicaragua and northeastern Honduras on Monday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts. Steady to rapid strengthening is likely over the weekend, and Iota is forecast to be a major hurricane when it approaches Central America.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles (150 km) to the northeast of the center.
The estimated minimum central pressure is 1005 mb (29.68 inches).
Satellite imagery and scatterometer data received since the last advisory indicate that Iota is a bit disorganized. The deep convection is currently not concentrated near the center, and the scatterometer wind data showed an elongated circulation with a trough extending west-southwestward from the center. The scatterometer data also showed maximum winds of 30-35 kt in the northeastern quadrant, and based on this, the initial intensity is held at 35 kt. An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate Iota at around 18Z.
Iota continues to move south of west with the initial motion of 245/4 kt. A mid-level ridge over the Gulf of Mexico should build eastward to the north of Iota during the next day or two, and this feature should cause the cyclone to move westward at a somewhat faster forward speed through 72 h. This motion is expected to bring the center near or over the coasts of Nicaragua or Honduras near the 72-h point. After that time, a west-southwestward motion is forecast, with the center of the cyclone moving across portions of Central America. The new forecast track is similar to, but slightly slower than, the previous forecast, and it lies in the center of the guidance envelope near the various consensus models.
Iota is currently experiencing light westerly wind shear produced by an upper-level trough to the west. The shear should subside over the next 12-24 h as the trough moves westward and dissipates, leaving the cyclone in more favorable upper-level winds and over sea surface temperatures near 29C. Thus, conditions appear conducive for steady to rapid intensification once the storm becomes well enough organized internally to take advantage of the favorable environment. The new intensity forecast is similar to the previous one, and calls for rapid intensification to major hurricane intensity, with a peak intensity of near 105 kt as the system makes landfall in Central America. It should be noted that the HWRF and HMON forecast the center to go north of the official forecast track and keep it over water north of Honduras. As a result, they forecast a stronger cyclone than indciated by the official forecast.
Iota is expected to strengthen and be a major hurricane when it approaches the coast of Central America. There is a risk of dangerous wind, storm surge, and rainfall impacts across portions of Nicaragua and Honduras beginning Monday. Hurricane Watches will likely be issued for a portion of this area later today.
Through Wednesday, heavy rainfall from Iota will likely lead to life-threatening flash flooding and river flooding across portions of northern Colombia and Central America. Flooding and mudslides in Honduras and Nicaragua could be exacerbated by Hurricane Etas recent effects there, resulting in significant impacts.
Iota Is Expected To Become A Major Hurricane By Monday & Bring Another Major Hurricane Strike To Parts Of Nicaragua & Honduras From Monday Through Tuesday
Iota is being disrupted somewhat by some wind shear and thus it is currently a sheared tropical storm. This has led to Iota not really strengthening as of yet. With that said, it still looks like the wind shear over Iota should decrease and this will lead to significant to rapid strengthening beginning as soon as tonight and continuing through Sunday and Monday. This means that Iota will likely reach hurricane strength sometime on Sunday and then potentially major hurricane strength by Monday.
Iota is expected to push nearly due west as a high pressure system over the Gulf of Mexico pushes the storm in that direction. This means that Iota is very likely to make landfall near the Nicaragua-Honduras border on Monday afternoon or Monday evening as a major hurricane.
This is going to be a really, really bad situation for Nicaragua and Honduras since they are still trying to recover from Eta. Very strong winds with gusts of well over 100 mph, a storm surge and another 1 to 2 feet of rain is likely across northern Nicaragua and much of Honduras beginning on Monday and continuing through Tuesday. Flooding and mudslides are likely to be exacerbated by Hurricane Etaís recent impacts there leading to very major impacts.
Finally, Iota poses no threat to the United States, the Bahamas, Cuba, the Cayman Islands, Hispaniola or Jamaica.