HURRICANE EPSILON STRENGTHENS IN THE ATLANTIC WHILE DEVELOPMENT IN THE CARIBBEAN IS NOW UNLIKELY
Epsilon is now a strengthening hurricane headed north in the general direction of Bermuda. Current forecasts show the worst of the winds passing well east of the island, however, though they will feel some fringe effects.
This is the third time this year that a hurricane has affected Bermuda, which is pretty amazing when you consider how small the island is in the vastness of the Atlantic.
Hurricane Epsilon is heading for cooler waters, so strengthening is expected to be limited. On Friday it is forecast to pass Bermuda and head off into the North Atlantic.
Closer to home, the broad tropical disturbance – just an area of lower pressure now – covering the Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula and the southwestern Caribbean continues to be a factor in the rainy weather pattern affecting South Florida. A combination of the low pressure to the south and the nose of the strong high-pressure system over the Carolinas is producing a large channel of moisture over the southern Florida peninsula. The tail of moisture from Hurricane Epsilon is adding to the mix, as well as an upper-level disturbance over the Gulf.
All of these systems’ effects just happen to be converging on South Florida. As long as these systems are in place, waves of rain are likely to continue. Hurricane Epsilon will help end the rainy stretch as it tracks to the north late in the week, it will weaken the nose of the high-pressure system, which will dramatically weaken its effect on the air flow over South Florida. As the winds weaken, so will the amount of rain.
Tomorrow should be a transition day with improving weather, followed by much better, drier weather by Friday. Dry air propelled south on the west side of the hurricane will push toward Florida adding to the improving atmospheric pattern.
Be aware in South Florida today: due to the recent heavy rain saturating the ground and extra-high tides this time of year, local flooding is quite possible in low-lying areas or locations with poor drainage at high tide.
The upper-level winds over the Caribbean are now forecast to become increasingly hostile late this week and next, so development is no longer expected from the lingering low-pressure system left over from the broad disturbance we were tracking for the past several days.
This is what happens as the season changes. The strong winds of fall dip farther south. So even though the tropical waters are still warm, the atmospheric environment generally doesn’t permit systems to develop. Only on a rare occasion does a pocket of favorable atmospheric conditions randomly come together.
As of now, nothing is in the offing.