At 9:35AM, the US NWS National Hurricane Center issued a Special Tropical Weather Outlook concerning a trough of low pressure across the Northwestern parts of the Bahamas. This trough of low pressure has low chances of tropical development near 0%, over the next 48 hours, and low chances of development over the next 5 days, at 20%.
Over the last 24 hours, disorganized shower and thunderstorm activity have been persisting across the Bahamas, triggering severe weather warnings from the Bahamas Meteorological Services. Strong, gusty winds, dangerous lightning, heavy downpours, hail and the possibility of waterspouts or tornadic activity as well as localized flooding were all possible resulting from these thunderstorms across the Bahamas.
Generally, little development is expected during the next couple of days as the system moves generally northwestward toward the Florida Peninsula. However, some slow development is possible as the disturbance turns northeastward and moves over the western Atlantic.
Of the top three global models forecasting tropical development, the UKMET and EMCWF in their 0Z runs Wednesday morning support some tropical development by Saturday May 4th 2019 while the GFS (both FV3-GFS & older GFS models) do not show development of this system.
The UKMET model, in its 0Z run, show development of a weak tropical storm by Saturday 4th May 2019, southeast of South Carolina, approximately 166 Kilometers (100 miles) southeast of Charleston. This model keeps this system offshore as it moves into the North Atlantic Ocean.
The EMCWF model, in is 0Z run has a 40-45% chance of development for a tropical depression, remaining offshore the Southeastern United States. The operational EMCWF shows a poorly organized tropical depression briefly developing over the weekend, and quickly degenerating as it moves northeastward.
Regardless of development, locally heavy rains are possible over portions of the Bahamas and the Florida Peninsula during the next couple of days.
The next Special Tropical Weather Outlook will be issued by 10 AM EDT Thursday, or sooner if conditions warrant by the National Hurricane Center.
This system poses NO threat to the Eastern Caribbean, including Trinidad and Tobago.
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 than the 2019 Hurricane Season is rapidly approaching and it is important to become prepared for both the hurricane season and the rainy season ahead!