We are still in the first half of October, so even though we’re sick of it, tropical-weather season is still underway. The high humidities across Florida are testament to the fact that tropical air is still dominating these latitudes.
The dry season officially starts in Miami on October 15th, but that’s just a convenient, rounded-off date. Often dry, northern air doesn’t control the weather pattern until a little later in October. That’s the point that the chance of a tropical system working its way north toward Florida significantly diminishes.
The National Hurricane Center is continuing to track a disturbance just east of the Caribbean islands. The upper-level winds are ripping it apart – pushing all the thunderstorms to the east side of the obvious circulation center. A wind-speed measurement by satellite indicates that near-tropical-storm-force winds are occurring, though the circulation can’t consolidate into an organized system due to the hostile conditions aloft. Computer forecast models predict that the unsupportive conditions will continue, and perhaps increase, so the system is unlikely to be a threat to land.
Some long-range computer forecast models are still predicting atmospheric conditions conducive for tropical development will develop over the southwestern Caribbean over the weekend and into next week. Nothing is there right now, but it’s an area we’ll watch in 5 or 6 days.
The European model output shows the possibility of a general area of low pressure developing next week. There is no consensus on what would happen to it, if something developed. But it’s something to watch for.
A cold front is forecast to push through South Florida late this week, meaning some drier air should filter south. It does not look like a permanent pattern shift, however, so we have to continue to watch for developments in the Caribbean until the season changes.
Technically, of course, hurricane season runs through November. Historically, however, only one hurricane has ever impacted South Florida in November, and it was a bit of a fluke. In November of 1935, the so-called “Yankee Hurricane” tracked right over downtown Miami on November 4th. It came from the northeast, which is pretty weird.
A number of hurricanes have hit South Florida in October, but almost all of them occurred in the first 3 weeks of the month. Wilma was an exception in 2005. After a lot of stalling over the northeastern Caribbean, it finally crossed the southern peninsula on October 24th.
In addition, Sandy passed South Florida on the 26th, so there is no hard-and-fast rule.