The GFS and Euro Models have been hinting at something developing in the Western Caribbean for the past week or so, and yesterday the National Hurricane Center added it to their 5 day tropical weather outlook.
This morning, they put the chances of development at 40% over the next 5 days, and while it will probably top out as a rain-making depression or weak tropical storm, it is a reminder that the start to the Atlantic Hurricane Season is just over a week away.This morning's 8am update reads:
745 AM EDT Tue May 22 2018
For the North Atlantic...Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico:
1. A broad surface low centered just east of Belize is producing a large area of cloudiness and showers extending from the northwestern Caribbean Sea across Cuba into the Florida peninsula. While strong upper-level winds and dry air aloft are expected to limit organization during the next couple of days, some gradual subtropical or tropical development is possible late this week while the system moves slowly northward into the central or eastern Gulf of Mexico.
Regardless of development, locally heavy rainfall is possible across western Cuba, the Cayman Islands, and much of Florida during the next several days. For more information on the heavy rain threat, please see products issued by your local weather office. The next Special Tropical Weather Outlook on this system will be issued by 800 PM EDT.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...low...near 0 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days...medium...40 percent.
As we discussed two weeks ago in Hurricane Preparedness Week 2018 (May 6th - May 12th), NOW is the time to make your preparations for this year's hurricane season. Before the first storm threatens.
Last September, 5 days before Irma's landfall in Florida, there wasn't a flashlight, battery, bottle of water, or NWS weather radio to be found on any store shelves where I liveAs a result, tens of thousands of people went through the storm - and days without power - unprepared. While for most it was more a matter of discomfort than of safety, Florida got very lucky with Irma.
It could have been much, much worse. And in parts of Texas, and most of Puerto Rico, it was.Whether you live in `Hurricane Country' or not, if a disaster struck your community today, do you already have?
- A battery operated NWS Emergency Radio to find out what was going on, and to get vital instructions from emergency officials
- A decent first-aid kit, so that you can treat injuries
- Enough non-perishable food and water on hand to feed and hydrate your family (including pets) for the duration
- A way to provide light when the grid is down.
- A way to cook safely without electricity
- A way to purify or filter water
- A way to stay cool (fans) or warm when the power is out.
- A small supply of cash to use in case credit/debit machines are not working
- An emergency plan, including meeting places, emergency out-of-state contact numbers, a disaster buddy, and in case you must evacuate, a bug-out bag and a predetermined place to go.
- Spare supply of essential prescription medicines that you or your family may need
- A way to entertain yourself, or your kids, during a prolonged blackout
You may also wish to revisit some of my preparedness blogs: