Final storm forecast may be season's swansong

General overview Friday 16th October 2015

The main area of interest continues to be disturbance fifty three near the northern coast of Honduras. This disturbance is expected to move slowly to the west-sou'west during the next couple of days. This will take the system over the fence into the Pacific where it will merge with an existing Pacific disturbance and in all likelihood develop into a tropical depression or tropical storm then move into southern Mexico. Some of the energy is likely to survive the trek over Mexico and leap back over the fence again into the western Gulf of Mexico. Most modellers then indicate the formation of a moderate to strong area of low pressure in 7 to 10 days. There is still strong confidence in the barricades across the northern Gulf of Mexico, nonetheless if this becomes a named storm it is unlikely to go into the northern Gulf however increased winds and seas are becoming more likely for the central and northern Gulf late next week. In addition, flooding rainfall is expected for Central America and southern Mexico.

Disturbance fifty two is located 350 miles due north of the mouth of the Amazon and is moving to the west-nor'west at 10 knots The disturbance is expected to move north of the Caribbean and continue to arc north then north-east. Once north of the Caribbean, conditions may become more favourable for development but it is unlikely to have any impact on land.

Disturbance fifty four has formed around 400 miles north east of the Amazon delta and is moving west at 8 knots. This looks weak and is unlikely to impress. A year ago today, forecasters were predicting a low was forming in the Bay of Campeche in a few days time - similar in many way to today.

After formation as disturbance forty eight, this seemed to drag on forever as it drifted south and deepened to become tropical depression nine. After loafing around the Yucatan channel for a couple of days, it drifted south making a brief but pathetic appearance as tropical storm HANNA for a few hours before grounding in Honduras. Elsewhere, GONZALO was becoming a nasty little bruiser. This had reached hurricane strength and was shaping up to make a swipe at Bermuda on the night of the 17/18th October - fortunately without fatalities - then to race off into the north Atlantic and disappear into frontal systems. We were to see just four more disturbances before ringing Finished With Engines on 3rd November 14.

Forty nine started west of the Canaries, developed slightly then approached the Azores where it lounged around for a few days before dissipating. The last three disturbances of the year all piped up between 200 and 300 miles north to north east of the mouth of the Amazon, again with similarities with today.

Fifty tracked across the Leeward Islands, then headed west and dissipated close to the Netherlands Antilles.

Fifty one was a little slower and drifted north, curving past the north-eastern most islands of the Caribbean then fell foul of upper level wind shear and died unlamented.

Finally, fifty two tracked west, coughing and spluttering and dissipated before reaching the Windward Islands. Conditions are still ‘warm' in the far western Caribbean and off the far south-eastern seaboard of the United States. Nonetheless in musical terms, and avoiding talk of generously proportioned gender specific opera singers, once we see the back of the low pressure cell developing in the Bay of Campeche, we may at last consider the performers to be warming up for the finale.

Stand easy.

Watkins Superyachts - Blues brothers