9:00 AM Tropical Update: First Tropical Wave of The Season To Move Across T&T Next Week

Tropical Weather Update Overview:
Jaguar, a rare subtropical cyclone off the east coast of Brazil, has dissipated. There will be no further updates for this system.
— The first “official” tropical wave of the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season has moved off the West African Coast. Forecast to move across T&T on Tuesday 28th May 2019.

No tropical development is forecast 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 9:00 AM Thursday 23rd May 2019, the axis of this wave is located at 33 degrees west, between 14 degrees to 2 degrees north, moving west at 10-15 knots, approximately 3,000 kilometers to the east of Trinidad and Tobago.

The National Hurricane Center has determined classical genesis from the African Easterly Jet and convection over North Africa for this feature.

North Atlantic Tropical Weather Update Overview, as Saharan Dust dominates the Atlantic Basin, with a tropical wave 3,000 KM east of Trinidad and Tobago.
North Atlantic Tropical Weather Update Overview, as Saharan Dust dominates the Atlantic Basin, with a tropical wave 3,000 KM east of Trinidad and Tobago.

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 0Z run on Thursday, show the concentrated plume of tropical moisture arriving across Trinidad and Tobago mainly through Tuesday 28th May 2019 into Wednesday 29th May 2019. With tropical waves, locally heavy rainfall, thunderstorms, and gusty winds are generally possible. Based on present model guidance, this first tropical wave is not forecast to be a large rainmaker, with rainfall accumulations generally 10-15 millimeters, and isolated totals up to 25 millimeters across Eastern parts of T&T.

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.

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. 51 of the 89 out of season tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Basin have formed in the month of May, with the most recent being Subtropical Storm Andrea on May 20th, 2019. 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!

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