Tropical system - Nate - looks likely over Caribbean & Gulf of Mexico west of Florida

by: Michael Buresh Updated:

Oct. 4, 2017 - Photos: Must-see photos of Irma damage in Jacksonville area .... hurricane Irma recap

Tropical development looks likely W. Caribbean to the Gulf of Mexico...... will be "Nate"

The "Buresh Bottom Line": Always be prepared!..... City of Jacksonville Preparedness Guide... Georgia Hurricane Guide.  

The "local nor'easter" continues & is being enhanced somewhat again by a tropical wave moving westward from the Bahamas & the strong slow moving high well to the north of Jacksonville.  Breezy inland winds will be downright windy closer to the the beaches/intracoastal & along/near the St. Johns River.  Higher than average tides resulting in occasional flooding - especially at high tide will also occur along the coast, St. Johns Rivers & tributaries.  The full moon will be Thu. adding an astronomical boost.  Tidal forecasts - here.

Radar imagery courtesy S. Fl. Water Management District:

Surface map below shows the strong high pressure from the Great Lakes to the Northeast U.S.  High pressure will be a mainstay north of Jacksonville for the next week. 

48 hour wave & wind direction forecast: 

Average wave heights:

The Gulf of Mexico & Caribbean will be - as I've hit on often recently - the place to watch this week into the weekend....

It looks like general & broad low pressure is evolving over parts of the Western Caribbean & Central America.  This could eventually evolve into a tropical cyclone & will need to be watched closely as this is the time of year for slow but sometimes strong tropical development over the still very warm water of the Southern Gulf &/or Caribbean.  Initial land interaction with Central America & the Yucatan Peninsula could limit overall strengthening.  And forecast models are not of much help on solving the details for right now though have converged on the idea of a tropical system moving over the Gulf of Mexico but with large differences in track, speed of movement & intensity.  The models seems to be struggling with all the low pressure that stretches - in general - across much of the southern (tropic & especially subtropic) latitudes.  So we don't want to get too caught up in individual model runs at this point but realize that the pattern does favor tropical development over the SW Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico &/or Caribbean. STAY TUNED! - especially along the Gulf Coast as what could become "Nate" may be pulled north rather quickly which would place the tropical system anywhere from Louisiana to the Fl. Big Bend this weekend.

A tropical wave is moving west across S. Florida & is producing heavy rain on its eastern side (typical of tropical waves).  There may be some weak development of this wave this next couple days over the E. &/or Central Gulf of Mexico.  The heavy rain with this feature stays south of Jacksonville across Central & especially South Fl.

A couple of tropical waves extend from the Lesser Antilles to the Central Atlantic.  Forecast models show no development at this time.

Eric Blake, NHC tweeted this interesting & concerning snapshot of the Gulf & Caribbean now vs. 2005 which produced record setting hurricane Wilma in Oct., 2005.  The upshot: the Caribbean is "boiling"...

2005:

Deep oceanic heat content is still very evident - especially over the Caribbean & Gulf.  We will have more tropical troubles before the season is over.

Sea surface temp. anomalies have pretty much recovered over/near the Gulf / Fl./ SW Atlantic since the passing of multiple hurricanes (Harvey, Irma, Jose, Maria) though Jose & Maria's "cool wake" is still visible.

October tropical cyclone typical development & movement:

From Dr. Phil Klotzbach - tropical cyclone genesis during Oct.:

East Atlantic IR satellite (Cape Verde season winding down but waves still moving west in what has been an unseasonably long Cape Verde season):

Mid & upper level wind shear (enemy of tropical cyclones) analysis (CIMMS):

SE U.S. surface map:

Surface analysis centered on the tropical Atlantic:

Surface analysis of the Gulf:

Caribbean:

Extensive hurricane Irma recap - click here.