Sunday, June 05, 2011

Caribbean Blobette: June 5, Update A

Over the past few days a little blobette* has been hanging out in the Caribbean, no doubt enjoying the good music, food, rum (yummy pina coladas and banana daiquiris!) and snorkeling (what else does one do if one is visiting the Caribbean for a few days?).

*Blobettes & Blobs: my highly scientific technical term for a ‘blob’ of clouds and rainfall and thundery sort of weather that isn’t strong enough to be anything else ;-), introduced in circa 2005.

However today the circulation improved near the surface and is also gradually improving at higher levels of the troposphere**, but because of wind shear it is still not very well developed. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) locates the center of circulation at about 175 miles west-southwest (WSW) of Jamaica. I’d say that the lower level center is around there, and the higher level circulation is due south of the island (a good indication of the wind shear that is inhibiting development).

It has already generated lots of rain over Jamaica and the northern Caribbean islands but the convection is diminishing this evening which, along with the wind shear, is an indication that this will still take some time to get stronger. It is moving slowly westward. Here’s what the computer models show as potential future tracks (image from - a really good website for storm graphics)…

I’m pretty sure I have an identical picture from a 2-year old stashed away somewhere.

Until this blobette gets stronger it is difficult to determine what the track (if any) will be, so I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on it.

**Troposphere… oooh, first real scientific jargon of the season and it’s only June 5! Aren’t you lucky? I’ll be using ‘troposphere’ quite frequently during the season. Feel free to use it whenever you like as well. I find that dropping it randomly into casual conversation confuses the other person, which is particularly useful when you are negotiating global peace treaties.

The Troposphere: this is the name of the lowest level of our atmosphere. It extends up to about 8km height in the polar regions, and 15-16 km in parts of the tropics. In the troposphere, the higher up you go, the colder the temperature gets (e.g. tops of mountains). The layer above the troposphere is called the 'Stratosphere'... you might have heard of that because, in the polar regions, that's where the Ozone Hole likes to hang out (and have lovely warm cups of tea ;-)). In the stratosphere, the higher up you go, the warmer the temperature gets! Isn't that interesting? The demarcation between the troposphere and stratosphere is called the ‘tropopause’.

More tomorrow, I’m sure.

Toodle Pip for now!

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These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical storms - not the opinion of any organization I represent. If you are making an evacuation decision, please heed your local emergency management and the National Hurricane Center's official forecast and the National Weather Service announcements. This is not an official forecast. If I "run away, run away" (Monty Python), I'll let you know.

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