Late-night tropics watch
June 9, 2006
A bit to tired so I'll just offer some rather unorganized notes and observations
– First thing I did after getting checked into my hotel was to take a quick look at the infrared satellite loop just long enough to verify that there wasn't a tropical depression out there, then set about preparing for tomorrow before sitting back down in front of the computer.
-So how could I tell that there wasn't a depression out there?
One pre-requisite for a depression is a closed circulation at the surface. With it being night-time that is rather hard to verify by looking at satellite imagery. However, fortunately, there was a quick scatterometer pass over the area this evening. QuikSCAT measures the winds near the surface of the ocean. The wind barbs indicate wind speed and direction. If you look at the area along the 18° N line, you can see that the wind barbs form a circle, so there is a closed circulation out there.
The second pre-requisite is persistent convection organized around the center. When you compare the infrared satellite imagery with where that closed circulation is at, you see that the big convection activity is well removed from the center. (That was not the case for a brief time early this afternoon, when there was convection in the vicinity of the center.)
I'll post this now and have more to follow…
– OK, a point on models. They are generally at their best when there is a well-developed tropical cyclone already in existence (i.e. a mature hurricane). They are at their worst, with weak and ill-defined systems. Because of that, and the fact that there wasn't a defined surface circulation yet, I hadn't even bothered mentioning models until now. Here's what the globals are saying:
-The 00Z GFS brings the low across upper peninsular Florida
– 00Z NOGAPS has a similar idea.
-Ditto the 18Z GFDL
That's 3/4 of the GUNA consensus, which was the best the models had to offer last year. The UKMET continues to offer a totally contrarian idea of bringing the low west.
My gut remains that any development will be slower and more modest than what the number of visits seem to indicate people are looking for from this.
SLIGHTLY LATER: I was going to write something else here, but I think I'll reserve losing sleep for a named storm at least…