15 October 2010

Paula dissipates over Cuba...

Over the last couple of days, Paula skirted turned toward the NE, encountered significant shear, skirted along the northwest coast of Cuba, and just recently has the final advisory written on it as a dissipated Depression over central Cuba.  Yet another landfall to add to the seasonal count, and yet another one that the US dodged.

With the assistance of my colleague Phil Klotzbach, I have a 159-year climatological probability of hurricane landfalls anywhere along the US coast.  In seasons that are this active (as measured by the Net Tropical Cyclone activity, or NTC, which is currently 173.5 compared to an average season with NTC of 100), the US has a 95.4% chance of being hit by at least one hurricane of any category.  Moving the threshold up to major hurricanes only (Cat 3+), the US has a 20.5% chance of being hit by at least one major hurricane.  Clearly, the US coast has been quite fortunate so far this season.

Back to the current state of the tropics, there are hints of a tropical disturbance festering in the extreme southwestern Caribbean, over Panama.  There is low-level convergence along the monsoon trough, some enhanced vorticity centered near Panama, and persistent convection also centered over Panama.  In mid-October, those ingredients at that location is climatologically favored for a north-moving western Caribbean hurricane.  In several long-range global models, a strengthening storm does emerge from this cocoon in the coming 3-4 days, then make its way generally northward toward Cuba in about 9 days.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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