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Realize the forecast cone (”cone of uncertainty”) is the average forecast error over a given time - out to 5 days - & *does not* indicate the width of the storm &/or where damage that might occur.
*** LOCAL (Jacksonville/NE Fl./SE Ga.) IMPACTS FROM THE TROPICS: None through at least midweek. We will see increasing seas & surf again by Thu./Fri. due to strong onshore flow & possible low pressure developing offshore.
The Atlantic Basin Overview:
** Ophelia moved inland early Sat. & became post-tropical later in the day...
** Tropical depression #17 formed over the Eastern Atlantic Sat. morning & was upgraded to tropical storm Philippe late in the afternoon...
** A tropical wave near the coast of Africa has the potential to develop in the longer range while moving west/northwest...
** At least somewhat like Ophelia this past week, low pressure may develop east of Fl. late in the week. Some subtropical or tropical development is *possible*. At the very least expect an increase in onshore flow (winds out of the east/northeast), rough seas & surf & a high rip current risk for the east coast of Fl./Ga. & the Carolina’s by Thu./Fri. & possibly into the upcoming weekend.
Ophelia made landfall about 6:20am EDT Saturday on the southwest coast of North Carolina with sustained winds near 70 mph & has steadily weakened inland while moving northward becoming post-tropical over Virginia in the evening.
Ophelia was the 15th named storm of the ‘23 Atlantic hurricane season surpassing the avg. of 14 for an entire season (June 1 - Nov. 30).
(2) A strong tropical wave - ‘90-L’ was upgraded to tropical depression #17 midday Saturday over the Eastern Atlantic then to tropical storm “Philippe”, the 16th named storm of the busy ‘23 hurricane season. Forecast trends are for an early turn to the northwest then north which will keep the disturbance well east & north of the Caribbean & far to the east of the U.S.
Check out the upper oceanic heat content (UOHC) [tropical cyclone heat potential/TCHP] across the SW Atlantic, Gulf & Caribbean. The warmth is very deep. But keep in mind warm ocean temps. alone doesn’t necessarily equate to a “big” hurricane season (need other ingredients & factors to be favorable too) but it’s obvious there is a lot of very warm water at great depths over the Caribbean & Gulf of Mexico stretching eastward all the way into the Central Atlantic:
Water vapor loop (dark blue/yellow is dry mid & upper level air):
July tropical cyclone origins:
Averages below based on climatology for the Atlantic Basin for August:
Saharan dust spreads west each year from Africa by the prevailing winds (from east to west over the Atlantic). Dry air - yellow/orange/red/pink. Widespread dust is indicative of dry air that can impede the development of tropical cyclones. However, sometimes “wanna’ be” waves will just wait until they get to the other side of - or away from - the plume then try to develop if other conditions are favorable. In my personal opinion, way too much is made about the presence of Saharan dust & how it relates to tropical cyclones. In any case, the peak of Saharan dust typically is in June & July.
2023 names..... “Rina” is the next 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 in ’19 & Laura, Eta & Iota in ‘20, Ida in ‘21 & Fiona & Ian in ‘22]). In fact, this year’s list of names is rather infamous with “Katrina”, “Rita” & “Wilma” retired from the ‘05 list & “Harvey”, “Irma”,“Maria” & “Nate” from the ‘17 list. The WMO decided - beginning in 2021 - that the Greek alphabet will be no longer used & instead there will be a supplemental list of names if the first list is exhausted (has only happened three times - 2005, 2020 & 2021). The naming of tropical cyclones began on a consistent basis in 1953. More on the history of naming tropical cyclones * here *.
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 over the Gulf, Caribbean & deep tropical Atlantic. The brighter colors are expanding dramatically as we near the peak of the hurricane season.:
Sea surface temp. anomalies:
SE U.S. surface map:
Surface analysis centered on the tropical Atlantic:
Surface analysis of the Gulf:
Atlantic Basin wave period forecast for 24, 48, 72 & 96 hours respectively:
Global tropical activity:
Cox Media Group