Talking the Tropics With Mike: Potential for classic late season, slow developing tropical activity

Eye on the SW Atlantic & Caribbean

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The Caribbean/Gulf of Mexico & SW Atlantic will remain the areas to keep an eye on over the next couple of weeks (climatologically favored too). However, there is nothing that looks threatening through the upcoming weekend.

One of the few tropical waves currently “on the map” - approaching the Eastern/Northeast Caribbean - does not look it will develop much. The wave will produce some scattered showers & storms for parts of the Lesser & Greater Antilles including Puerto Rico into the weekend while drifting northwest with shear likely to keep the system “in check”.

The areas to watch:

(1) low pressure will be developing over the Central Atlantic through the weekend. This low will move to the west/southwest then turn more westward next week ending up east of Fl. &/or the Carolina’s by the middle to late part of next week. Some slow tropical development is possible. The European & UKMET models are the most aggressive right now with this area of - what will be nontropical initially - low pressure but indicate a system that would stay east of the U.S. coastline.

(2) The GFS model in particular has been reasonably consistent in developing low pressure & an eventual tropical cyclone over the Caribbean that then moves north/northeast between Oct. 22 & 28th. Where the potential system would go & how strong it might be has varied considerably from one day to the next with a tendency to delay the development some. The Caribbean is an area favored for late season tropical development + the GFS has been decent at picking up on long range development this season (not necessarily the long term details). The European & UKMET at least indicate lower pressures but are otherwise - at least so far - not near as aggressive on this potential feature.... & are also delaying what development they are showing. The latter is quite plausible (later/slower developing system).

Where Atlantic tropical cyclones have formed mid to late Oct. since 1966, by Phil Klotzbach:

October tropical cyclone origin points are clustered over the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico & SW Atlantic:

Atlantic Basin wave forecast for 24, 48 & 72 hours respectively (major wave action at Fl./Ga. beaches through early next week due to persistent brisk onshore flow (high pressure to the north) combined with easterly swells from distant Teddy:

Saharan dust:

2020 names..... “Wilfred” was the last name on the Atlantic list (names are picked at random by the World Meteorological Organization... repeat every 6 years... historic storms are retired (Florence & Michael in ’18 & Dorian is certain to be retired from the ’19 list). Interesting side note: the last six of the names on the ’20 list had never been used. So it’s on to the Greek alphabet now. “Epsilon” is next... the first time the Greek alphabet has been used since 2005 (total of 27 named storms using 6 Greek letter names in ’05)

East Atlantic:

Mid & upper level wind shear (enemy of tropical cyclones) analysis (CIMMS). The red lines indicate strong shear:

Water vapor imagery (dark blue indicates dry air):

Deep oceanic heat content is impressive across the SW Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico & especially the Caribbean:

Sea surface temp. anomalies:

SE U.S. surface map:

Surface analysis centered on the tropical Atlantic:

Surface analysis of the Gulf:


Global tropical activity:

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