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Otto likely to develop and recurve; Watching for Paula in the Caribbean later

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If you can, playing the video in HD makes it much easier to see things. The video will play in low quality by default. If HD quality isn't available, then it will be in a few minutes. Let me know if you have problems or questions about the video.


The main features in the tropical Atlantic today are two cold-core upper lows stacked over surface lows in the central Atlantic. The one north of Puerto has been designated Invest 97L, and will likely try to develop into a tropical depression or tropical storm over the next couple days as convection warms the air column and weakens the upper low that is over top of it. This will be recurving out to the northeast and is not a threat to the United States. Rainfall in the Caribbean islands will be the only big effect of this system. The other system to the east will likely weaken and merge with what would be named Otto as he exits to the northeast.

The video today shows how with the AO and NAO tanking negative over the next 5-8 days, one should be worried about troughs digging in and leaving pieces behind in the tropics. Indeed the GFS illustrates this concern by leaving a piece behind in the Caribbean from this trough that Otto will be recurving into, and we may see Paula try to develop in the SW Caribbean from this trough-split during the next week or so and move up to the north. This could be a potential concern for Cuba and Florida if development does occur.

Down the road the pattern will continue to favor activity in the Caribbean through the end of this month and we are likely to knock a couple more names off the alphabet here before the season winds down. I also show in the video how the pattern is forcing the subtropical jetstream to show itself over the Gulf of Mexico and SW Atlantic, and this is the time of year when we start watching for that feature to develop in preparation for the winter. This typically sets up a wall of strong westerlies that shear any tropical system trying to make a run at the United States, but that doesn't mean they won't be making a run. What it does mean is that the storms that do make a run at us will be more likely to be weaker. We can't let our guard down as we all remember Wilma in late October of 2005, a major hurricane landfall in Florida, so they can and do happen late in the season. However, the risk of a major landfall in the United States will be decreasing as time goes on. The Caribbean still has to worry though.

We shall see what happens!

Invest 97L Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):

Invest 97L Track Models:

Caribbean/East Pacific Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):

Central Atlantic Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):

Atlantic Tropical Surface Analysis:

200mb Vertical Velocity (green areas represent upward motion associated with the MJO):

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  • HurricaneJunky
    HurricaneJunky Wednesday, October 06 2010 04:25:00 AM

    Nice update Levi! Things seem awfully quiet in the Caribbean considering what we were expecting...what happened that is causing the suppression of tropical activity?

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