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October 2011

Watching trouble in the Caribbean – heavy rainfall is the big story

   Posted by Levi at 10:03am on October 15, 2011

We are still watching an area of broad low pressure in the western Caribbean, generating a large area of moderate-deep convection this morning. Prolonged rainfall is likely causing flooding problems for central America due to this monsoonal depression sitting over them for so long, and they will have to deal with it for a couple of days longer yet. The main center is near the coast of Belize and will be drifting northward or NNW over the next 2-3 days hugging the Yucatan, but we will have to watch the low pressure extension east of it for any kind of secondary low development. A tropical wave racing in from the east has decided to come and play, and may introduce an interesting new element to the situation by enhancing vorticity over the water.

Whether we will get a classified system remains to be seen, though I still feel we have a decent medium chance to get a tropical depression or tropical storm. Any system that does form may not have ample opportunity to get very strong, but either way Florida will be in for a very heavy tropical rain event as a front dives down from the northwest and drags whatever is sitting in the Caribbean northeastward. The GFS and the other models except for the ECMWF still seem too far west with the low, and drying out the western Caribbean entirely in 48 hours seems unrealistic given how warm the water is and how the MJO is buried in phase 1. I like the Euro’s idea of a northward drift and then a northeast escape, which agrees with what my ideas have been on the situation thus far. We will have to closely monitor the situation for the next 3-5 days.

We shall see what happens!

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