Talking the Tropics With Mike: Tropical Storm Bonnie finally forms over the far SW Caribbean

Headed for Central America

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REMEMBER WHEN A TROPICAL STORM OR HURRICANE IS APPROACHING: Taping windows is *NOT* helpful & will not keep glass from breaking.

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 damage that might occur.

*** No impacts from tropical systems for Jacksonville/NE Fl./SE Ga. through the holiday weekend into next week...

* The active tropical wave - ‘94-L’ (Potential Tropical Cyclone #2) which came off the coast of Africa a week ago Wed. - continues swiftly westbound & has finally formed into tropical storm “Bonnie”. The recent persistent upper level high will remain intact across the Atlantic & U.S. (Lower 48) which means a rather straight forward forecast track (due west) across Central America then into the East Pacific with Bonnie reaching the Nicaragua/Costa Rica border Fri. night as a tropical storm.

The fast movement & close proximity to South America has been a speed bump of sorts, but the wave has found the “sweet spot” - albeit only a short time before landfall - over the SW Caribbean. Once to the Pacific, the system should quickly re-organize & strengthen again while turning more northwest to the south of the Mexican coast over the far E. Pacific.

There will be no impacts on NE Fl./SE Ga. ... or any of Florida... as well as not any of the Gulf Coast. It is worth noting early season African waves like this one are often a harbinger of an overall active Atlantic hurricane season.

* A second wave continues over the Central Atlantic & is steadily moving W/NW. There has been a burst of convection to the east of the wave axis Friday but shear is strong over the Caribbean & should keep this wave from having much of a chance to develop.

* A lot of disorganized but heavy t’storm activity is offshore of Florida & the Carolina’s in a north/NE-south/SW band & cluster associated with a weak upper level trough of low pressure that’s moving to the northeast. Radar imagery seems to indicate a possible surface low just offshore of the Carolina’s. Movement is to the northeast & forecast models don’t show much in their latest output. But given the radar presentation, some development is possible as the low moves away from the coast & crosses the Gulf Stream.

* The weak low pressure over the extreme northwest Gulf of Mexico has moved inland over S/SE Texas so no further development can be expected.

Wind shear:

The location of development of tropical systems in June since 1851 generally favors the NW Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico & far Western Atlantic:


Saharan dust is spread 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, we’ve already has a couple of dust plumes spread west to the Caribbean & Gulf with the peak of Saharan dust typically in June & July.

2022 names..... “Colin” 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]). In fact, this year’s list of names is rather infamous with “Charley”, “Frances”, “Jeanne” & “Ivan” retired from the ‘04 list (all hit Fl.) & “Matthew” was retired in 2016. The WMO decided - beginning last year - 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 *.

East Atlantic:

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:

Sea surface temp. anomalies:

SE U.S. surface map:

Surface analysis centered on the tropical Atlantic:

Surface analysis of the Gulf:

Caribbean:

GFS wave forecast at 48 & 72 hours (2 & 3 days):

Atlantic Basin wave period forecast for 24, 48 & 72 hours respectively:

The East Pacific:

West Pacific IR satellite:

Global tropical activity:


“Chaba” is forecast to become a typhoon while moving toward China staying west of Hong Kong:

Tropical storm “Aere” will move over the far W. Pacific nearing Western Japan by Tue./Wed.:

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