Tropical Weather Update Overview:
— Andrea, the first tropical cyclone for the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season dissipated as of 5:00 PM Tuesday 21st May 2019
— Jaguar still churning off East Brazil, now a subtropical depression.
— The first “official” tropical wave of the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season has moved off the West African Coast. Forecast to move across T&T early next week.
Remnants of Andrea Andrea
Andrea dissipated into a remnant low as of 5:00 PM Tuesday 21st May 2019.
According to Philip Klotzbach, a meteorologist at Colorado State University specializing in Atlantic basin seasonal hurricane forecasts, since 1900, the 1950s and the 2010s were tied for the most active decades for named storms forming prior to 1 June in the Atlantic. With the formation of Andrea, the 2010s have now pushed ahead with 8 named storm formations, ahead of the 1950s with 7. He also added that “improvements in observational capabilities likely is leading to weaker, marginal named storms being named now that would have been named earlier in the 20th century, especially prior to satellites (mid-1960s).”
This remnant system poses NO threat to the Eastern Caribbean, including Trinidad and Tobago.
Subtropical Depression Jaguar East of Brazil, South Atlantic
On Wednesday 22nd May 2019, the Brazilian Navy downgraded Jaguar to a subtropical depression. Its center of circulation at approximately 8:00 AM, the center of circulation of this system was located at 31 degrees south, 33 degrees west, moving south to southwest at 15 knots. Gusty winds, up to 74 KM/H and very rough seas with waves up to 5.0 meters possible in the immediate vicinity of heavy convection. This system is forecast to continue moving out to sea with little direct land impacts beyond increased surf and swells.
Note that tropical cyclones in the South Atlantic Ocean are uncommon, but we’ve already had one for the year, Tropical Storm Iba at the end of March 2019.
This system poses NO threat to the Eastern Caribbean, including Trinidad and Tobago.
Tropical Weather Update Elsewhere Across the Atlantic Basin
No tropical development is forecast elsewhere across the North Atlantic Basin over the next 5 days. The first tropical wave has moved off the Western African Coast into the Eastern Atlantic. Presently, as of 8:00 AM Wednesday 22nd May 2019, this wave is located at 27 degrees west, between 11 degrees – 2 degrees north, moving west at 10-15 knots.
The National Hurricane Center has determined classical genesis from the African Easterly Jet and convection over North Africa for this feature.
Tropical waves typically take 5-7 days to travel across the Atlantic Ocean and move across Trinidad and Tobago. This wave is no different. As of the latest GFS, FV3, and EMCWF in their 12Z runs show the concentrated plume of tropical moisture arriving across Trinidad and Tobago mainly through Tuesday 28th May 2019 into Wednesday 29th May 2019. Note that this is still over a week away so impacts will be clearer closer to the dates mentioned. With tropical waves, locally heavy rainfall, thunderstorms, and gusty winds are generally possible.
The designation is significant to Trinidad and Tobago because the passage of the first Tropical Wave (or the first time the ITCZ modulates across T&T) signals the start of the wet season for the islands. Following the passage of the first true tropical wave, as designated by either the National Hurricane Center or by the discretion of the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service, the wet season is declared. Hence, we’re looking towards early next week for the official start of the 2019 wet season.
May Tropical Cyclone Climatology
Tropical Cyclone Points of Origin for May (1851-2015). Credit: NWS/NOAA/NHC
While the official start to the Atlantic Hurricane Season isn’t until June 1st, early season tropical cyclones are not unheard of. 50 of the 89 out of season tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Basin have formed in the month of May, with the most recent being Tropical Storm Alberto on May 25th, 2018. Thankfully, for Trinidad and Tobago, these early season systems tend to form in the Western Caribbean and Southwestern Atlantic, with no impact to the Eastern Caribbean and T&T.
However, it serves as a reminder that the 2019 Hurricane Season is rapidly approaching and it is important to become prepared for both the hurricane season and the rainy season ahead!