Long Range GFS Model Shows Tropical Storm Developing In Early June

Dante' Brown-Royal

About Dante' Brown-Royal

Hello, I am Dante' the CEO/President of Weather Advance. I most of the time specialize in Winter Weather and winter forecasting. I also am pretty decent in predicting severe weather and tracking hurricanes. Howevere usually that's not my forte. I will strive to always give you the most accurate updates possible, and information possible when it comes to the weather!

16 comments on “Long Range GFS Model Shows Tropical Storm Developing In Early June

  1. @ Dante & midatlanticweather
    This is no model “hiccup” and I would be careful in saying this scenario of a tropical system forming is “unlikely” I have been calling for tropical trouble for quite some time now in the Caribbean & western Atlantic given the conditions at hand, I think you guys (in case you haven’t) really need to read this response I made to Bradley Folsom on my blog back on May 18th,

    “@ Bradley Folsom and other bloggers interested in the potential tropical threat going towards the end of may-beginning of June

    “That is actually a very good question, and although I am not aware of precisely how the farmer’s almanac comes up with their predictions (I know its some sort of “magic Formula” and if I know it has something to do with the 30 day sunspot cycles among other things, of course, this is also something you often see in many of my posts, and I rely heavily on the 30 day sunspot cycles to predict the PNA, which is a quadirpole pattern. (4 areas that are mainly affected, or 4 “poles” with pressures affected over the North Pacific, Northwestern North America, and the Southeastern US, with some effects on pressure pattern also observed over the Canadian Arctic and the equatorial Pacific)).”

    I have been well aware for at least the last week or so that some sort of tropical disturbance should form in the Atlantic as the MJO, (which is essentially a 30-60 day westwardly-propagating wave of energy in the global tropics that helps to determine the amount of upward motion in the tropics, which is vital to thunderstorm activity that are the basis and building blocks for tropical cyclones.) should move its upward pulse towards the Atlantic, meaning that upward motion and thunderstorms will be favored in our part of the globe. In this case, what you will notice in the links to the models below is the MJO going into different “Octants”, from where it currently is over Octant 5, which is “Maritime Continent”, which is the area in between the Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific, and this area of “Maritime Continent” includes areas of southeastern Asia and Indonesia. For the MJO to be in the Atlantic, or favoring upward motion in the Atlantic, the MJO needs to get into Octants 8-2, (even 3 is favorable) with octant 8 centered over the eastern Pacific and Octant 1 directly over the Atlantic & Africa while Octants 2 & 3 deal with the Indian Ocean and the Indian Monsoonal Circulation, and of course during the heart of hurricane season, the MJO being over this area would have large effects on the hurricane activity in the Atlantic. Reason is of course, the origins of about 90% of all significant tropical cyclones in the Atlantic can have its origins drawn from African Waves that originate in the Ethiopian highlands over eastern Africa when air coming off the Indian Ocean from the Indian Monsoonal Circulation is forced to rise to the topography of this area, thus enforcing a phenomena that is known as “Orographic Lifting” where the natural topography and local geography of a certain area forces the air to rise, and in doing so, the air forced upwards into higher levels of the troposphere naturally cools, and as the air cools, carrying the same amount of moisture, the air will reach a point where moisture must be released, and this helps to form precipitation on the windward side of the mountains. However, unlike a typical pattern where the air descending down the other side of the mountain, dries out, this is not the case with Africa, as the natural difference in pressures and temperatures between the Sahara and the African Congo, help to induce wind shear, which helps to ignite the African easterly jet. This African easterly jet along with the natural northward movement of the ITCZ (InterTropical Convergence Zone) that is created by southeasterly trade winds from the south and northeasterly trade winds from the north that are created under the “Hadley Cell” and the Coriolis effect help to from these African easterly waves, and upon emerging in the Atlantic, these systems can then feed off of the warm tropical waters and convert their atmospheric processes to one that relies primarily on the release of latent heat energy (a process that is derived from condensation of water vapor to its liquid state, and in a reduction in the freedom of movement in the water molecules from the gaseous to liquid state energy is released in the form of heat to compensate for this reduced movement.) and from here can become tropical cyclones. So, when the peak of the hurricane season begins to approach, it will be very important to watch the position and strength of the MJO, because if it is strongly entrenched over the Atlantic, or over Africa, then, we will have to pay very close attention to any tropical activity, because under such a set-up with an upward MJO pulse in the middle of hurricane season, this spells major trouble in terms of tropical activity.”

    Here’s the link to the MJO from NCEP
    Here’s the link to MJO from a multitude of models, from GFS, to UKMET to the ECMWF, among so many others to give you a better idea of where the MJO will be, and the reason I look at other models for the MJo, like the ECMWF for MJO, rather than the GFS is because the physical parameters that the GFS model is based on have a large amount of difficulty in handling tropical energy, and it is usually way too progressive (too fast with moving the MJO across the global tropics), and the ECMWF, although very good at handlingthe MJO, is known for being too slow in the “Maritime Continent” octants of the MJO, thus may be too slow with its progression, thus a compromise between the GFS & ECMWF is the most viable solution regarding the MJO at this point. Under these conditions, we should look for the MJO to move towards the Atlantic towards the end of May (generally from the 25th or so and later, and potentially stick around well into June, as the tropical Atlantic, in relation to other regions of the tropics, is warmest compared to normal, and knowing that the MJO is essentially an oscillation that measures vertical upward motion in the tropics, having the warmest waters in the Atlantic means that with the warmer water around, this induces upward motion because warm air surrounding the warm water will naturally have a tendency to rise in the presence of the warm water below, thus there is reason to believe that the warmer than normal waters over the deep tropical Atlantic will have influence on helping to promote the upward phase of the MJ), which induces tropical activity. http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/MJO/CLIVAR/clivar_wh.shtml

    Also, another factor that has to be taken into account is the PNA in relation to the sunspot cycles, which I mentioned above and have made note of in many of posts, in that it is important to understand the inverse correlation between the two with the 30 day sunspot cycles being the driver in pushing the PNA around in its respective states. Looking at the 30 day sunspot cycles at the current time, it is very important to note how they are extremely high, over 200 sunspots, which means that with rising cycles, the PNA should in essence go towards its negative state, which means a trough should form over the western US, and conditions will likely get much more stormy and active there over the coming days.
    30 day sunspot cycle http://www.solen.info/solar/images/solar.png

    PNA (notice recently how it has fallen negative in response to the 30 day sunspot cycles increasing, helping you to show the inverse correlation between the PNA & 30 day sunspot cycles) http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/pna/pna.sprd2.gif

    With a trough over the western US, this has implications in the long range pattern over the US, as a large region of low pressure there will help to pump atmospheric pressures and heights downstream of the pattern over the US, and considering the fact that since we are deep into May, and the solar wavelengths are very strong, the jet stream is naturally much weaker this time of the year, and the wavelengths of the jet stream between one trough and the the next ridge are much shorter in distance, meaning that with a major trough in the western US now as opposed to the winter time where a ridge would be promoted in the eastern US, this pattern will now force a ridge over the central US and into Canada. Knowing that when you have a ridge over central Canada this helps to promote tropical activity by air spreading out in all directions from the high pressure center helping to force convergence to the south, thus rising air, means conditions naturally become much more favorable for tropical cyclone formation. Another thing that I take note of is a trough will try to enforce itself over the eastern US, however, at this time of the year, because of the shortening jet stream wavelengths, such a trough can get cut-off from the main jet stream flow, and energy can get left behind in the form off a stalled frontal boundary, and these types of set-ups with stalled fronts into the Gulf are very notorious for resulting in tropical cyclones. Combine this with the upward pulse of the MJO that I talked about earlier in this comment, this means there is going to be a lot of upward motion over the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and the Eastern Pacific, so regardless whether or not a tropical system forms, the pattern is going to get very stormy & wet over the southern US, Florida, and the Caribbean as May begins to come to a close and June begins. Also, with this set-up, we are likely to see the Columbian Monsoonal low become very active and as the MJO progresses from the eastern Pacific to the Atlantic, what may actually occur is we may see a storm system over the eastern Pacific take a very odd track coming from the southwest and hitting central America and then with whatever remnants and tropical energy are left over getting absorbed into the monsoonal low and the western Caribbean. Also, with the stalled frontal boundary, there is certainly reason to believe that we may see a “fujiwhara” between whatever disturbances form in this pattern with the upper level disturbance from the stalled front and the energy from the monsoon low merging and moving towards each other in a counter-clockwise motion around a common center. This kind of scenario means that whatever system gets going due to its monsoonal nature (like the storms that form in the western Pacific), will be very large in nature, and with a favorable environment generally in place, there will be concern that if conditions are right, this storm could potentially be large and powerful. However, trying to determine intensity and precise locations that will impacted is a pointless because of how far away we are from this event occurring.

    However, I will give you a few recent examples of this type of scenario to give you a general idea of what is going to unfold over the next few weeks.

    Arthur (2008)
    500 millibar pattern
    Notice the trough over the western US (-PNA) enforcing a ridge to form over southern Canada and the central US with a trough over the eastern US that does appear to get “stuck” underneath building pressures to its north, implying that a stalled front is in place and knowing that the MJO had its upward pulse over the Atlantic about this time and Arthur, although a short-lived tropical cyclone, was monsoonal in nature, which is exactly what I am thinking may occur in the upcoming potential system as we get towards late May and early June. http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/data/20thC_Rean/gary.pl?year=2008&month=06&day=01&hour=12&var=z500slpsprd_nh&Submit=Create+Plot

    Image of Arthur showing its monsoonal nature

    Track of Arthur

    Arlene (2005)
    Notice the similarity in the 500 millibar pattern (link below) to Arthur, cut-off low over the northwestern US, indicating a -PNA, ridge up the spine of the Rockies and central US into southern Canada with some sort of trough in the eastern US.
    Track of Arlene

    Alex (2010)
    Notice in this storm, the pattern is slightly different, although some sort of -PNA is noted with pressures slightly lower than the surrounding environment with a ridge over the southeastern US and a ridge over the Pacific, and of course the low pressure gyre (indicated by the shades of blue & purple) does seem to imply for some residual troughiness over the eastern US, like what was observed in Arthur & Arlene.

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/tmp/composites/compday. of Alex

    It is also interesting to note how devastating 2005 & 2008 were in terms of tropical cyclone landfalls on the US with rememberable storms like Katrina, Rita, and Wilma in 2005, Fay, Gustav, Hanna, & Ike in 2008, and although 2010 was not particularly dangerous for the US, it needs to be considered that 2010 was a la nina year and Hurricane Earl, a category 4 hurricane almost hit the east coast, and once you consider the evidence I presented in this post above where I talked about how compared to la nina years, neutral ENSO years tend to see tropical systems coming farther west, there is further to be worried about this year along with information I’ve presented over the last few months in my other posts. In general, it is interesting to note the Farmer’s Almanac picking up on a potential tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico during June, and the idea that the threat level for a tropical system during this time will increase given the conditions at hand, although it is too far out to determine where any potential system may go or impact, but regardless the pattern over the southern US, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico will get much more unsettled and flooding will be a concern.

  2. @eric, i agree. I didn’t make myself clear enough. What i mean is that i do not like to hop onto a storm with one model run, and one that’s in the long range too. These models can be jumpy at times. But the Caribbean, yes i can see one developing early, but i don’t know if i want to trust this model run just yet. I want to see if this will be on the next few runs and etc. Great analysis though.
  3. @ Dante
    Thanks, I did work very hard on that analysis, hope can understand it (sometimes even I can occasionally get lost in my own work, lol) Yeah, I do think there is some uncertainty here, but when you have an upward MJO pulse along with a +NAO forcing higher than normal pressures into the mid-latitudes under a cold PDO (cold PDO favors western US trough eastern-central US ridge) and when you have a ridge in this position this forces a piling up of air into the deep tropics directly to the south of the focus of the region of high pressure in the mid-latitudes, thus this pattern strongly favors some type of tropical system developing. However, given the fact that such a system will be monsoonal in nature, originating from the monsoon circulation that is typically found near Columbia and central America, changing in position and strength depending on the MJO, whatever develops could be quite large like the systems that develop in the western Pacific and with such size, it will tend to be a heavy rain maker. You should also know that storms that develop in the monsoon are hard to capture in the computer models because of not only the terrain issues that have to be compensated for over central America, but also the fact that with such a large region of relatively low pressures, it can be quite difficult for computer models to hone in on one particular circulation, meaning that the monsoon circulation may “overshadow” any isolated system that develops within it, thus you are correct in the fact that the exact solutions should not be looked into at the moment, rather the fact that given what is at hand, development does seem likely, and it won’t be until we can get development of some type of tropical system before specific scenarios can be considered.
  4. @ Dante
    Oh yeah, this solution for some type of system not only shows up on the GFS, but other models are hinting at it with lower than normal pressures over the western Caribbean, and the GFS has actually shown some type of tropical mischief since the beginning of May, yet those solutions did not verify because of the fact that the model was too progressive with the MJO (too fast) with it coming towards the Atlantic, however, the upward MJO pulse is now on the doorstep of the Atlantic, and given the things I mentioned in my responses to you, development does seem like a good possibility, perhaps even likely to some extent.
  5. @midatlanticweather
    I constantly train myself to learn about the weather, and I am like a sponge absorbing every bit of information I can get my hands onto, and I use my prior weather experiences to make predictions. All of these words you may seem unfamiliar with are things I have attained in my seemingly constant learning of the weather I have conducted the past few years. You should probably get familiar with some of those words because you will more than likely see them again in my future posts. I suggest perhaps reading my response again, and if you have any questions or need clarification on something feel free to type me a question.
  6. @eric, that’s exactly right. When you look at the prior few days before the 3rd of June you see just a blob of moisture sitting there in the Caribbean near Cuba, and eventually spits out the energy as a tropical system around June 3rd. It bears watching. And also i forgot to mention in my post that, im not understanding why the storm moves and just spins off the coast, due to the factor that the cold front that was trying to push it off just fizzles out between hours 240 and 252 and then at hour 252 you just see an area of high pressure sitting to its northeast over Northeastern Canada and the closed cold front is in the Mid-west. I would think the models would funnel this up into the Carolina after passing by Florida, contrary to sitting and spinning with this setup.
  7. @Eric I am going to look into the model again as the 00Z GFS run comes in. Tomorrow morning ill take a look at the 06Z GFS run as well as the EURO, and see if they still are picking up on the storm and make an analysis.
  8. @ Dante
    Yeah, I wouldn’t even put any stock into any forecast scenario at this point, just with the monsoon circulation in place and all of the low pressure sitting from the eastern Pacific into central america and into the Caribbean, its a lot for the models to handle, and I also hope you know the GFS model in particular suffers from convective feedback problems, which hinder its predictability in tropical cyclone genesis and development. Here’s a site that will really help you see all of the models, I absolutely love this guy, Levi Cowan, probably one of the best tropical forecasters I know, strongly suggest you to check out his videos, because you’ll learn a lot. (link) http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/
    Here’s the link to his models & analysis page (analysis page, very useful) http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/
    Model’s page http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/
  9. @Eric
    Okay, thank you. I’ll definitely look into that. I always knew the GFS had several flaws, im still learning them as years pass by. I love the Euro, but the past couple years it has whiffed on some storms.
  10. @ Dante
    You’re welcome, honestly by watching his amazing videos, this is where I have learned so much of my tropical information, but you hit the nail on the head here, yeah we love the Euro, but it has whiffed on some storms, although I will say it absolutely destroyed the GFS with Sandy, did very good with the westward progression with Isaac, however, the wildcard Tropical Storm Debby the GFS scored big time. Also, if you do watch some of his videos, he does talk about how earlier in the month we had twin Indian Ocean cyclones, and the fact that the ECMWF struggled in picking up on them. I think this has something to do with the convective lag that is notable in the ECMWF over the “Maritime Continent” region (MJO octants 4 & 5), the area between the Indian Ocean and the western Pacific, which is why although the GFS was clearly way too progressive with the MJO, the ECMWF was too slow with it trying to hold the MJO back over the western Pacific and Maritime Continent, thus a compromise between the two models seemed like the best solution, and that has certainly been the case as of late. I think the GFS though is good at picking up the earliest on storm formation, but struggles beyond that point, and I think once there is a physical tropical system in place, the ECMWF is usually better to look at. Another thing that needs to be mentioned is also the ECMWF’s bias to lag energy over the southwestern US, this is something that needs to be considered as well in future winter & hurricane forecasts.
  11. @Eric, and as i thought should have been the case the GFS kind of reads my mind and pushes this thing up into the Carolina instead of hovering off the coast. This is two runs now, at this stage i am looking for model consistency. will worry about track later. But i will say, just as you said, this thing looks to be loaded with moisture. Will be a heavy rain maker at the very least. I don’t expect this to make it to hurricane status.
  12. @ Dante
    Well, I agree, with it being large, that also severely limits the rate of intensification for the developing tropical cyclone, as larger storms have a tendency to intensify much more slowly than smaller systems, however the downside to their size is they do not weaken very quickly in adverse conditions like wind shear, colder water temperatures, or land, etc., and this will be something to think about once this system emerges onto land. Right now, the area that should really be put on alert is south Florida, because regardless, it looks like they will very likely at least receive heavy rain from this system, but I actually could potentially see this system scooting eastward out to sea or even stalling off of the coast, because naturally during the month of May, and even into the earlier stages of June, the ridging over the subarctic is usually too strong, and enforces significantly lower pressures over the north Atlantic, that can “tug” on tropical systems, dragging them eastward out into the Atlantic, however, I do not think this will be the case this time, with this system most likely resembling tropical storm Arlene or Arthur from 2005 & 2008 respectively. Interestingly, as I said on twitter, those to two storms are the last times we have seen a large, monsoonal system develop in the month of June, of course, we all know how those hurricane seasons turned out for the US, very deadly with Katrina, Rita, Wilma, Fay, Gustav, Hanna, and Ike.
  13. Eric, Is this hurricane season going to be very active this year? Is there going to be hurricane threat for mid atlantic similar to Sandy that happened last year?

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