System Over Bahamas Not Expected to Form into Tropical System but Forecasters are Watching
By Space Coast Daily // May 4, 2018
could bring needed rain to brevard county
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA– According to Weather Underground c0-founder Dr. Jeff Masters, a cold front that pushed through the Bahamas last weekend has stalled out over the islands and now has an opportunity to produce some tropical rainfall for Brevard Countyand southeastt Florida this weekend.
On Wednesday, the system was given a 10 percent chance of developing into a tropical system but wind shear kept the system from being raised any higher in terms of development percentages.
According to the National Hurricane Center, currently, no systems pose a threat to develop in the next 72 or 96 hours.
However, forecasters are watching the system in the Bahamas.
According to Dr. Masters, starting today and into tomorrow, an upper-level trough of low pressure will move over the Bahamas, causing the wind shear to fall, and thus increasing the chances of possible tropical cyclone formation.
Masters, a former flight meteorologist for NOAA’s Aircraft Operations Center, said on Wednesday that the temperatures of the sea surface below the disturbance of about 80 degrees were “warm enough to support formation of a tropical depression,” but that the variation in wind velocity, or the wind shear, in the area would delay any potential development.
The forecast suggests big rains for Puerto Rico and the Bahamas into the weekend. For Brevard and southeast Florida, rain could arrive later Saturday into Sunday.
While formation chances seem very low, it isn’t all that unusual to see a tropical system develope in mid-May ahead of the June 1 Hurricane season start date.
According to the NOAA Historical Hurricane Tracks website, storm formation has happened 11 times since satellites began monitoring the ocean in the 1970s, with seven of these depressions going on to become named storms.
That’s about a one in seven-year event.
Dr. Masters points out that we have had Atlantic named storms form by May 15 the past three years in a row–an event with a 0.3 percent chance of occurrence based on statistics from the past 48 years:
May 8, 2015: Tropical Storm Ana formed off the coast of South Carolina, and made landfall there on May 10 with 45 mph winds. Ana was the earliest landfalling U.S. tropical cyclone on record and caused one drowning death and minimal property damage.
January 12, 2016: Hurricane Alex became a tropical storm in the waters south of the Azores. After peaking as a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds, Alex hit the Azores as a tropical storm with 65 mph winds on January 15. Alex caused minimal damage and no deaths.
April 20, 2017: Tropical Storm Arlene formed in the central Atlantic. After reaching top winds of 45 mph and spending 30 hours as a tropical storm, Arlene died. Arlene did not affect any land areas.
Just an FYI, the first name on the list of Atlantic storms for 2018 is Alberto.
Stay tuned to Space Coast Daily for updates on this story and throughout the hurricane season.
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