JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Once upon a time, not too many years ago, I could look into the predicted world weather patterns and see, well in advance, when there could be conducive properties for tropical storm development. I could identify these conditions and then sit on the thought, for maybe a week, or longer, to see whether or not if these predicted conditions actually would come together.
Not today. Everyone wants to be first in announcing when the next system is going to unleash. Articles are written more than a week in advance of a system that hasn’t yet even formed. Often times, these early forecasts fail to look at the overall global pattern, which may be showing some erroneous large scale pattern. Oops.
Which gets us back to this article, the GFS is the only forecast model that has been very, very consistent. Since last week, the GFS has been suggesting something tropical would form in the Western Caribbean Sea and then move over/near the Yucatan Peninsula, near Cozumel and Cancan. Should this system become a tropical storm, the name would be Alex.
The weird part? If this system does form, it won’t be until this weekend, another five days.
Well, there have been very impressive improvements made to the Global Forecast System (GFS) over the past five years. This doesn’t mean it is going to happen, but we all should be alert to this possibility. Certainly, the ingredients I look for in an early/late season tropical system are all loaded up for something to get going. If this fails to develop, it will be because there is a westward shift in the forecast, by about 100 miles, that would push the broad area of deep tropical too far west over Mexico.
And as we all know, tropical systems don’t develop over land.
Well, even if it does not develop into a named tropical system, the moisture that is being forecasted will still be present, which means there could be a plume of deep tropical moisture that could come ashore along the Gulf of Mexico coast and that could swing towards Jacksonville.
But that would be about 10-12 days from now.
We will see.