Tropics: Barbara Makes Mexico Landfall, MJO Favourable, Gulf Mischief Next Week?

The weather has been rather busy over the Mid-latitudes and so it has to an extent, kept me from writing about the tropics. I am been wanting to get a post up on this for a good week nowas things are stirring down there.

I don’t know if you’ve been looking at the tropics of late but there is quite a lot to talk about. We have just witnessed the landfall of Hurricane Barbara into Mexico and even this entity may be something the US may want to watch closely as some of the energy may feed into the Bay of Campeche, helping form something next week.

Here’s the current water vapor over a rather busy looking western Atlantic and you can see Barbara over Mexico.

wv-l

There is a lot of convection over the Caribbean now, notice the drier air over the Gulf of Mexico. That is likely to change next week as a trough drops south into Texas. Modelling has shown something trying to develop for a good week or so now within the Gulf and one must watch if a trough drops down towards the central Gulf coast. That may pick up anything that tries to form.

The MJO is often mentioned when it comes to the tropics and in a nutshell, the MJO or Maddan Julian Oscillation is a pulse which circles the tropical planet, increasing convection and moisture in an area. Depending upon other drivers, this pulse cannot always be used but currently it can and there has been good indication for a while, that suggested things could get active, starting in the eastern Pacific and then possibly the western Atlantic.

The below GFS ensemble MJO chart shows the various segments in which there is heightened convection. As you can see, the chart shows the MJO entering phase 2 which indicates increased convection and a threat for development over on both Pacific and Atlantic sides of Mexico.

ensplume_small

This is a strong indicator that we should watch the Gulf. The evidence is not only the increased convection over the Caribbean but also the fact we’ve just seen a hurricane pop fast and hit west coast Mexico.

This next chart shows the convective probability over the tropics and if you notice, the greens are visible over the western Atlantic. Those greens indicate INCREASED convection and an increasingly favourable environment for development.

ewp_small

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Notice the MJO becomes less favourable by the time we reach the second half of June and it remains unfavourable through a good part of July. I shall be showing you these charts more and more as we progress through the season.

The model are certainly showing a messy Caribbean over the weekend and the GFS along with other models are showing something interesting next week.

Here’s the surface chart for Saturday

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Here’s Monday. Notice the blob showing up over the central Gulf. The pressure has been falling right across the region in the last week. Another indicator of priming.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

By mid next week the GFS shows an interesting feature moving NE, taking it into Florida Thursday. How strong this gets and whether it truely develops remains to be seen but there is a lot of things pointing to a system becoming a depression perhaps even a weak storm late next week.

Check this out..

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

It’s the trough dropping down over the central US which will help lift the Gulf feature north and water temperatures are certainly warming up well after the cool spring. The rapid warming of the Gulf was seen back in 2004 and 2005 after widespread below normal water temps back in March of those years. Both years went on to be big years, especially 2005 in the Gulf of course.

Here are the water temps from back in March this year.

anoma_3_28_2013

Notice their largely below normal but notice the area of red. That’s in fact the loop current showing it’s hand and was an indicator that it was alive and well and would be a big contributor to a quick warm-up.

Here’s current water temps.

anoma_5_27_2013

Sorry for the colour in this image. Not good but it basically indicates a much warmer Gulf.

If this feature doesn’t develop into anything, it certainly looks like it could be quite the rainstorm for Florida.

Will have more on this through the upcoming weekend.

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