Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Atlantic and Caribbean blobs: July 31, Update A

We almost made it through July without a storm entry. What a lovely, peaceful month... I even had time to clean the house and paint my nails! ;-)

First, a big thank you to everyone who attended the sold-out event at the Dali Museum in St. Pete last week! I had a jolly good time, and from what I heard from the stage, it sounded like you all had a bit of a chuckle too. I’ll let you know if it gets posted somewhere.

Now, there are a couple of blobs in the Atlantic that I’ve been watching for a few days. The first is a Caribbean Blob, moving westward. It doesn’t have much circulation, but quite a bit of convection (rain and rain, with a dash of rain) which went over the British and US Virgin Islands yesterday(ish), Puerto Rico today(ish), and is currently over Hispaniola. The weak circulation doesn’t seem to have changed much over the past few days and it is interacting with land, so I don’t think this will amount to much anytime soon.

The second is an Atlantic Blob, also moving westward. The circulation has gradually improved over the entire lower half of the troposphere and there is a fair bit’o’convection. I estimate that it is centered around 42W, 10N. For the past few days this blob has chugged along the 10N latitude. The pressure fields I am looking at are not very good at the moment, but I think it will continue more-or-less westward, taking it to the southern end of the windward islands. Hopefully tomorrow my crystal ball (data) will be a bit clearer.

<Jargon/Forecasting Alert> I was asked what 91L, 92L etc. meant when the NHC highlight an area of interest. For example, this Atlantic blob is called 99L. It’s actually a top secret code! ;-) Any tropical system they are interested in is given a number designation, ‘9’.  This alerts the forecast computer modelers and others that they should pay attention to this blob. The second digit is the number of the system, so the first one in the season is ‘0’, the second is ‘1’ etc. When they get to ‘9’, they start again. That explains the 90, 91… 99. The letter represents the ocean basin. The Atlantic is ‘AL’ (shortened to ‘L’), the Eastern Pacific is ‘EP’, the Central Pacific is ‘CP’, and the Western Pacific is ‘WP’. So 99L is the 9th area of interest in the Atlantic. The next one they will call ‘90L’ and around we go on the hamster wheel again. Hmm… I wonder if James Bond could have cracked that code? ;-) If it becomes a Tropical Depression then this number is dropped. Of course my system of keeping tabs on masses of interesting tropical clouds is a little er more entertaining… blobs and blobettes. J <End jargon/forecasting alert>

More tomorrow I expect.

Tally ho!

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DISCLAIMER: 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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