We have now reached the crescendo of our initial call a few weeks ago "Atlantic Entering Extreme Phase " and it now appears we are headed for a period of small for all as we make the final transition to tropical season. The Omega Blocking Pattern that has been in place for a couple of weeks is ending and we are headed for a pattern shift in the upcoming forecast period. We are now just inside of 45 days until the June 1st official start of the 2016 Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Season, and just inside of 25 Days to start the EPAC (East Pacific)
What will this year season bring us ?
We are fast transitioning away from El Nino to a La Nina. The early seasonal hurricane forecast out of the University of Colorado is out and is calling for an average hurricane season with what looks to be the official call for La Nina Event happening around September the peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season. This is a long ways out so plenty of time to watch. Sometimes after a strong El Nino, not always, a fast switch to La Nina can occur. Based on what we are seeing it looks like we are headed that way as El Nino 1 and 2 are crashing. Newtons 3rd Law and a fast switch, or faster than anticipated switch to La Nina could spell trouble for 2016. La Nina conditions seem to produce a more active hurricane season.
As far as surf is concerned, we choose to look at it another way. We will worry about September and La Nina when we get into August. We want to focus on the here and now and how the 2016 season may start. Going back the last 6 seasons to 2010 and trying to see any type of trend we are 3 for 6 since 2010 on early seasonal development. 2010-11-14 were weak starts with one storm each. 2010 had Hurricane ALEX June 25th. 2011 saw Tropical Storm ARLENE by June 28th and 2014 we had to wait until July 1st for the development of Hurricane ARTHUR North of the Bahamas.
By contrast 2012 13 and 15 were shotgun starts to the season with 2012 producing two early season May Storms ALBERTO and BERYL May 18th and 22nd, with the first hurricane of the season CHRIS, by June 17th. 2013 saw Tropical Storm ANDREA by June 5th which means we were watching for development in the last week of May. The 2015 season with another early May Storm ANA, on May 8th, followed by BILL June 16th. Which means we were monitoring for development of BILL first week of June.
Fast forward to now and based on what we are seeing over the last 30 days we feel that 2016 will also get off to a fast start. We have already had the first hurricane of the 2016 season with Hurricane ALEX January 13th through the 17th so you could say we already are off to a fast start.
Here's the current look this morning over the Gulf and Caribbean. Always to start, and end, hurricane season we always talk about homegrown development. These are systems that develop in close. These are bad because it gives you less time to prepare. It is not uncommon to go to bed one night looking at an area of spin in the Gulf of Mexico or off the SE U.S. Coast and wake up to a Tropical Depression the next morning. A weak tropical depression or Tropical Storm can have as much as a devastating impact as a fast moving hurricane. Then, as the season progresses to Cape Verde Season we look out towards the Central Atlantic, MDR (Main Development Region) and to the West Coast of Afrika. These tend to be the long haulers giving you ample time to watch and prepare and tend to be the most organized although this hasn't been the case of recent.
Heres this mornings image for the ITCZ and Caribbean again keeping in mind that we are just inside of 25 days for the Official Start of the East Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season the tropical signals are becoming more apparent everyday with more to come. This paticular pattern is known to produce heavy tropical rains for the Caribbean as the lift is towards the North and Northeast. Here's the current look of the Low Pressure system we have been advertising the last several days. This looks to now send a weak shot of swell towards the Islands to round off this phase.
If you have been following our forecast the trend has been towards a weaker system with the swell producing winds (at least for the U.S. East Coast) mainly over land. Latest NOAA 96HR Swell forecast showing some 12-13 second NNW swell generated but look at the Westerly moving off the Mid-Atlantic. That spells small for all.A few days ago NOAA OPC was showing seas maxing out at excess 25 Feet. This has now been reduced to 15-18 Feet in Northerly Swell. Current Max Seas as of this update (12:30 PM EST) showing seas at max 14 mainly in the NW COR of this Low pressure system.
Right now the only bright spot in the upcoming forecast comes from the EURO at plus 240 (10 Days) showing a GALE East of the OBX with a 1033 MB High that could put some small ESE trade wind swell in the water to combine with some NE Swell on the back side of the Low. Long Ways Out though.
Thats it for now. As always forecast does and will always change. Stay tuned to the forecast. Tell All U Frens Mo Frens Mo Betta. The start of the 2016 Atlantic Tropical Cyclone season is just around the corner