Tuesday Evening Tropical Weather Discussion

By: Stephen Bowers Email
By: Stephen Bowers Email

Tropical Storm Chris was named by the National Hurricane Center today.

The system is really a non-issue for land, but it could be a concern for the shipping lanes of the North Atlantic. The satellite presentation suggests fronts pivoting around the low pressure center, which suggests Chris may be more "sub-tropical" rather than tropical. Tropical low pressure systems typically do not move air masses around, and thus do not have fronts. That said, the system certainly appears to be more tropical in nature than it did Monday. My other concern is that the system appears to be supported more in the upper levels than from the bottom, which also suggests this system may not be purely tropical. Either way, Tropical Storm Chris will continue to spiral around the North Atlantic and become even less tropical in nature.

An area of concern we mentioned on air yesterday is in the northern Caribbean Sea. This tropical wave is interacting with an upper level low pressure trough over the eastern Gulf of Mexico and producing widespread cloud cover and rain from south Florida to Cuba and Jamaica. As of Tuesday evening, nothing is organized about this system and the upper levels winds are not favorable for immediate development. As this tropical wave moves into the Gulf of Mexico, the upper level low pressure trough will weaken. The weakening upper trough will allow the high-altitude winds to relax a bit, and the environment could become a bit more favorable for some slow organization of this system. The National Hurricane Center has recognized this system and says it has a slight chance to develop in the next 48 hours. Most models do not do anything with system until late Thursday or Friday. If the high pressure ridge builds across the Deep South late this week as we expect, this is likely not a system we will have to worry about. It is, however, something worth watching for the remainder of the week.

Another tropical wave is headed west and producing some disorganized high-altitude clouds several hundred miles east of the Windward Islands. This system is not a concern for development at this time since it is approaching an area of strong wind shear and will be ripped apart by the stronger upper level winds.

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