• Bryan Norcross

NASTY WEATHER OVER SOUTH FLORIDA ON TRACK – SHOULD WE STRETCH HURRICANE SEASON

A disorganized area of disturbed weather with embedded heavy downpours is slowly lifting north over South Florida. This old front is Ingredient #1 in a mix that is expected to yield an organized somewhat-tropical system near the northern Bahamas late tomorrow and over the weekend.

The strong winds that are already blowing across South Florida are related to an unusually strong area of high pressure off the East Coast – Ingredient #2 – not the budding disturbance at this point. Think of high pressure as a mountain of air that is spreading out. The taller the mountain, the faster is spreads. This mountain is pretty tall for this time of year.

Ingredient #3 is a wintertime-like upper-level disturbance in the jet stream that will arrive from the west tomorrow. The mixture of the three systems is forecast to evolve into an organized low-pressure system near or north of the Bahamas late tomorrow Saturday.

Whether or when the system is organized enough to meet the criteria for a Subtropical Depression or Storm – subtropical meaning a system with winter and tropical components – remains to be seen. But there’s a decent chance it will sufficiently organize in the waters east of Florida and off the Southeast coast. If it gets a name, which looks likely, it will be called Subtropical Storm Arthur.

While the system is in the development process, rainy windy weather is expected to spread from south to north over South Florida today and tomorrow. The bad weather is expected to peak over the metro area later today into the first half of tomorrow at this point.

The threats in South Florida are the possibility of local flooding in downpours, and to boaters. The winds over the open water will make boating dangerous.

These pre-season storms have developed more often than not over the past several years. So, should Hurricane Season officially begin sooner?

In my opinion, no. Most of the ingredients of this system, and most pre-season systems that we track now and name, are more like those that form nor’easters. And the systems don’t often get any stronger than a modest winter storm.

Tropical hurricanes, which are the real threat, don’t show up until June, and even that’s pretty rare. Let’s keep Hurricane Season for hurricanes. And let these pre-season hybrid storms simply remind people that Hurricane Season is coming.