Loc: Orlando, FL
Tropical Storm Rina Develops in the Western Caribbean
Fri Oct 21 2011 08:00 AM
10:00 PM CDT Update 23 October 2011
Tropical Storm Rina develops in the western Caribbean, with tropical storm watches up for coastal Honduras.
Interestingly enough, in the forecast, as it nears the Yucatan, it will be over much warmer water, and conditions are favorable for quite a bit of intensification as it nears the Yucatan. Those in the area will want to pay close attention to Rina as it quite possibly could be stronger than forecast (as per the discussion by Stacey Stewart), the official forecast is currently keeping a category 1 as it nears the Yucatan. With Rina, beyond 3 days or so is very uncertain at the moment. The forecast would have Rina near the Yucatan on Thursday night.
If it goes north of the Yucatan shear will likely increase, and weaken the system, but it is worth watching for those in the northeast gulf (including southwest Florida) into this weekend and early next week to see where Rina eventually winds up.
3:30 PM CDT Update 23 October 2011
Based on recon data and best track forecasts, Tropical Depression 18 has formed in the western Caribbean from what was once being tracked as invest 96L.
Advisories likely will begin at 5PM EDT.
Those in Central America will want to keep a close watch on this system, and some of the more reliable models suggest it may move further north to the gulf before getting ripped apart by shear in the Gulf. Meaning, if it makes it close to the Gulf/Florida it will likely be a weak rainmaker. Still it may have a good shot at strengthening before that, so those in the Yucatan and western Cuba should monitor it closely. It is too soon say how much rain/or threat it would be to elsewhere.
12:30 PM CDT Update 23 October 2011
The small Caribbean low pressure area, Invest 96L, has become more organized today, and a Tropical Cyclone is trying to establish.
As of early this afternoon, deep convection with early stages of banding have developed in the northwest quadrant of the cyclone, and is starting to extend beyond that. Additionally, the low level circulation has tightened up, and looks to be colocating itself better with this expanding and deepening convection.
* Small size: 96L is a small system, and this makes it especially sensitive to changes in its environment, both positive and negative.
*Dry air & shear: Dry air and shear are approaching from both its northwest and southeast. 96L may get caught in a squeeze, and shear out if it moves too much, too soon.
*Favorable Sea Surface Temps: Waters over much of the western Atlantic, and particularly so in the western Caribbean, are still very supportive.
Caribbean systems this time of the year can be very challenging for the models, and recon is flying into 96L for the first time just this afternoon. As such, models runs so far have been all over the map, and should be taken with a grain of salt. Runs will probably improve by tomorrow.
There is a chance that 96L becomes a small, but concentrated, and very strong tropical storm - or even hurricane - in the western Caribbean, which would threaten nations in the region with glancing blows, and possibly even landfalls. The most likely window for such a development would be between Monday through Thursday. While a real possibility, this is not an official forecast. Official forecasts for a Tropical Cyclone have not yet been issued. Stay tuned to the National Hurricane Center, and check back with us frequently for more updates.
Another area in the west Caribbean is now marked by the National Hurricane Center as having a 30% chance for development, with it likely hanging around in the same spot for a few days.
Systems in the West Caribbean this time of year are notoriously difficult to predict, as seen by this week for those in central Florida. Those in south Florida did receive a lot of rain, and once again the most likely scenario is another near tropical or tropical storm coming near or across parts of Florida mid to late next week, which means more rain for either Central or South Florida.
Another area just east of the Caribbean may be worth watching next week as well as it drifts toward the Central Caribbean.
Neither of these systems are currently being tracked as invest areas, but the one in the west Caribbean likely will be soon.