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Atlantic Tropical Weather Discussion
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Atlantic Tropical Weather Discussion
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL
1:05PM EST (1805 UTC)
Saturday Jan 23 2021

Tropical Weather Discussion for North America, Central America Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, northern sections of South America, and Atlantic Ocean to the African coast from the Equator to 32N. The following information is based on satellite imagery, weather observations, radar and meteorological analysis.

Based on 1200 UTC surface analysis and satellite imagery through 1745 UTC.

Active and Developing Storms
Caribbean Gale Warning: The combination of a 1019 mb high center over the Atlantic near 23N69W north of Puerto Rico and low pressure over northern Colombia is resulting in a tight pressure gradient in the south-central Caribbean. This will again lead to northeast to east winds to pulse to gale force tonight and into early on Sunday along and near the coast of Colombia. This favorable synoptic pattern setup will continue to promote this pulsing of winds to gale force well into next week. Wave heights generated by these winds are forecast to be in the range of 8-12 ft, mainly around daybreak each day. Please read the latest NWS High Seas Forecast issued by the National Hurricane Center at the website for more details.

Monsoon Trough And Intertropical Convergence Zone - ITCZ
(The ITCZ is also known by sailors as the doldrums)
A rather short monsoon trough axis extends from the coast of Africa at the Cote d'Ivoire and Liberia border near 04N08W to 05N15W, where morning ASCAT data indicates that it transitions to the ITCZ to 03N29W to 03N38W and to near 03N47W. Scattered moderate to isolated strong convection is seen within 120 nm north of the ITCZ between 26W-31W. Scattered moderate convection is within 240 nm south of the monsoon trough between 16W-19W and between 31W-35W. Similar activity is within 60 nm north of the monsoon trough between 13W-19W and between 31W-35W. Other scattered moderate convection is within 30 nm either side of a line from 04N45W to near the coast of northern Brazil at 04N51W.

Discussion: Gulf Of Mexico
Patchy to areas of dense fog is noted across portions of the Gulf coastal waters early this morning, with the potential for visibilities to be reduced to 1 nm or less. This fog should diminish by late morning. Otherwise, fair conditions are noted across the basin.

As of 15Z, a stationary front extends from north-central Florida to 29N90W and to inland Texas near Corpus Christi. A far western Gulf trough extends from just south of the stationary front near 28N94W to 26N96W and to 23N97W. As of 15Z, a 1020 mb high is centered over the far southeastern Gulf at 25N82W. High pressure is present across the rest of the area, with stronger high pressure analyzed over far NE Gulf. Latest buoy data indicates light to gentle anticyclonic wind speeds south of the aforementioned stationary front due to the 1020 mb high center. The latest buoy data along with overnight ASCAT confirm that gentle to moderate northeast to east winds are north of the aforementioned frontal boundary. Satellite imagery shows overcast low and mid-level clouds, with possible patches of mainly light rain and scattered light showers to be confined along and within 120 nm north of the frontal boundary. Patches of stratus-type clouds and fog are advecting northward over the far western Gulf from 21N- 25N and between 93W-97W.

The cold front will become stationary by late this afternoon or early this evening, while the stationary front will begin to lift northward as a warm front this afternoon through Sun. Patchy to widespread areas of dense fog, with visibilities reduced to 1 nm or less are likely to develop again during the overnight hours and into Sunday morning over the Gulf coastal plains as well as over and along the Florida west coast north of about Naples. High pressure will build over the southeastern United States, with increasing southerly return flow and building seas Sunday through Mon. The high pressure will weaken late Monday as a weak cold front moves into the western Gulf and becomes stationary by early Tue. The front will then get reinforced and progress eastward across the basin through Fri.

Discussion: Caribbean Sea
Refer to the Active and Developing Storms section above for details on an ongoing Gale Warning in the south-central Caribbean northwest of the coast of Colombia.

Elsewhere, mainly gentle to moderate trades prevail, except moderate to fresh trades in the central Caribbean. Seas are 3 ft or less in the northwest Caribbean, and mainly 4-7 ft elsewhere. Satellite imagery reveals patches of low-level clouds moving westward in the trade wind flow. Isolated showers are possible with some of these clouds. Scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms are over southern Panama, but appear to be weakening during the past few hours. Otherwise, no significant convection is noted over the Caribbean waters, over the islands and nearby land areas.

Mainly moderate to fresh trades will prevail through the next several days outside of the south-central Caribbean, pulsing to fresh to strong over the Gulf of Honduras on Monday through Wed. A north well will propagate into the Tropical North Atlantic waters from Monday night through Thu. A cold front is likely to enter the Yucatan Channel from the northwest Thursday night.

Discussion: Atlantic Ocean
West of 55W, a 1019 mb high pressure center is analyzed east of the southern Bahamas and Turks and Caicos near 23N69W, with a ridge axis extending west-northwestward to a 1020 mb high center that is over the far southeastern Gulf of Mexico at 25N82W. A cold front extends along a position from near 32N58W to 28N70W and to inland Florida near Daytona Beach. Satellite imagery shows broken to overcast low and mid-level clouds, with embedded patches of rain and possible scattered showers along and north of the front to near 31N. Fresh to strong southwest winds are occurring north of 27N and east of the front, with mainly gentle to moderate winds elsewhere. A set of large northerly swell with seas of 8-11 ft associated with the frontal system extend across the waters north of 27N and east of 70W, with 3-6 ft seas noted elsewhere outside of the Bahamas, except 4-7 ft east of 70W.

The cold front will reach along 26N by this evening, while a reinforcing cold front merges with it along 25N by Sunday morning. The merged front will stall along 21N north of the coast of the Dominican Republic by Monday afternoon and dissipate on Tue. A new cold front will move across the northern waters Tuesday night shifting south while weakening through early Thu. Another stronger cold front may move off the southeast United States coast by Thursday afternoon while parent low pressure rapidly intensifies north of the area through the end of the week. Gale force winds and very large seas are possible with this system, with storm force to near hurricane force winds possible north of 32N.

East of 55W, a cold front extends from a 1009 mb low north of the area near 38N38W through 32N38W and to 28N40W, where it becomes a weakening stationary front to 27N45W and to near 25N50W. An upper-level disturbance diving southeastward is behind the front near 30N47W. Scattered moderate convection is within 60 nm of this disturbance. Scattered showers are possible near and along the front north of 28N, while isolated showers are possible along and near the stationary front. Fresh to strong south winds are within 150 nm east of the front north of about 28N, while northerly swell of 7-11 ft covers the waters north of 20N, except 11-14 ft north of 27N between 37W-50W. A 1027 mb high pressure center is centered near 32N18W with a ridge axis reaching from the high west-southwestward through 26N37W and to near 22N53W. Moderate to fresh trades cover the waters south of 20N, with gentle to moderate trades found near the ridge. Seas of 6-9 ft in mainly fresh trade wind swell dominate the open waters of the tropical Atlantic.

Forecaster: Jorge Aguirre-Echevarria, National Hurricane Center

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