Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine Just East of the Bahamas
Tropical Storm Warnings Posted
The government of the Bahamas has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for the following islands in the northwestern Bahamas the Abacos, Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island, and NewProvidence.
The National Hurricane Center is initiating advisories on potential tropical cyclone nine just east of the Bahamas. Tropical Storm Warnings are up for the Northwestern Bahamas for gusty winds and heavy rains which is really the last thing they need right now given what Dorian did just a short week or so ago. This system has been moving very slowly to the west northwest. The forecast above reflects a high degree of uncertainty and as the forecast said in his discussion, the uncertainty is higher than usual for a whole host of reasons.
There is a lot of uncertainty with how weather models are handling this system which has led to some social media weather hysterics and we want to break this all down logically as to why models are doing what they are doing. The attention the European model around the weather geek water coolers is relatively interesting since outside of looking at a map you can’t really get anything out of it other than for someone to say “this is not a forecast” Let’s give this all some context.
Models like the GFS and a few others keep this a weak shallow system. As of Saturday morning we still at least according to the GFS model do not have a closed off surface low. A weaker system responds to the lower level flow which is more east to west. Therefore the low enters the Eastern Gulf and then turns northwestward from there. Maybe it develops, maybe it doesn’t. This makes it a wet rainstorm for sure for Florida and the Gulf States.
The European and the Icon (Germany) models sent the weather world into a serious meltdown overnight. The reason is simple. Both models strongly develop this system eventually to a hurricane. It responds to the steering flow in the higher levels of the atmosphere taking it more north north west and just east of the Florida east coast. This of course would make it a threat to the east coast of Florida over the weekend followed by the Southeast US and possibly points further north next week.
If this is a more developed system and responds to the upper flow in the higher levels of the atmosphere it could possibly turn around the western edge of the upper high to the northeast. At least through Monday westerly winds dominate the upper atmosphere across the Great Lakes and Northeast so obviously no issues here. This may be another instance like Dorian where that upper jet protects us from seeing anything of consequence here but this is going to require a delicate balance of the upper flow in the Northeast and whether those westerly winds pull out temporarily later next week. It is way too far down the road to even worry about that. Let us first let the system tell us if it will become well developed or stay weak. If it stays weak then no really worries for most. If it develops it will open up future conversations on this over the weekend and early next week.
MANY THANKS TO TROPICAL TIDBITS FOR THE USE OF MAPS
Please note that with regards to any tropical storms or hurricanes, should a storm be threatening, please consult your local National Weather Service office or your local government officials about what action you should be taking to protect life and property.