NASA watching 2 areas in the Caribbean, 1 is a rainmaker

Jun 04, 2011
NASA watching 2 areas in the Caribbean, 1 is a rainmaker
This visible image of System 93L (left) east-southeast of Brownsville, Texas and a larger area of low pressure located a couple hundred miles south of Jamaica (bottom right) was taken from the GOES-13 satellite on June 3 at 1731 UTC (1:31 p.m. EDT). The Jamaican low is expected to be a big rainmaker. Credit: Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project, Dennis Chesters

There are two low pressure areas in the Caribbean Sea for future development into tropical cyclones, although the chances are near zero for one, and minimal for the other. The GOES-13 satellite has been following the life of System 93L, which is one of those systems. The second low pressure area may not develop over the weekend, but threatens heavy rain in Hispaniola, Cuba and Jamaica.

The GOES-13 satellite provides images of the U.S. east coast, Atlantic and Caribbean Sea continually every day. In an image from 1731 UTC (1:31 p.m. EDT) today, June 3, the low pressure area known as System 93L is located in the far western Caribbean Sea. It appears as a small area of cloudiness, about 275 miles east-southeast of Brownsville, Texas. GOES-13 has been tracking that low pressure area for over a week, since it developed off the North Carolina coast and tracked across Florida last weekend and into the .

will continue to prevent System 93L from developing further over the weekend, so there's a "near zero percent chance" it will develop in the next 48 hours, according to the National Hurricane Center. System 93L now appears to be moving northwestward between 10 and 15 mph after tracking southward earlier this week.

A second low pressure area is also catching the eye of forecasters who use GOES-13 . The second low is located a couple hundred miles south of Jamaica and has become a little better defined today. That low pressure area appears to dwarf System 93L in size, as the center of circulation is surrounded by a large area of cloudiness.

One factor that keeps that low's chance for development down to 20% this weekend is the movement of dry air into its western side. Dry air prevents formation of the thunderstorms that power a tropical cyclone.

Despite the low chances for development, however, this low is expected to bring heavy rainfall, flash flooding and mudslides over portions of Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and southeastern Cuba over the next couple of days. That low is forecast to remain almost stationary over the west-central Caribbean Sea for the next couple of days.

The image of both low pressure areas was created by the NASA/NOAA GOES Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The series of Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) are managed by NOAA, and the NASA/NOAA GOES Project creates images and animations from those satellites.

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Canman
not rated yet Jun 04, 2011
This may actually be a good experimental test for global warming affecting weather:
if weather forcasts predict a low probability for an certain outcome, yet a statistically significant number of low probability outcomes actually happen anyway. I mean, I'm sure they are already doing this. Aren't weather forecasts based partially on what has happened in the past in similar situations. So if weather begins to change based on a new dynamic, like global warming, won't weather predictions become less accurate? Or, if global warming is affecting weather, parameters that are used to predict future weather will never before have been encountered. How will we know how weird the weather has to get in order for us to think global warming is likely a contributing contribution to that weather? Otherwise, weather forecaster will continue to say stuff like: "Oh yes, this was a particularly severe La Nina that precipitated this weather, not global warming", but what caused the severe La Nina"?

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