Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tropical Storm Cindy (2017)

Storm Active: June 20-22

On June 16, a large trough of low pressure formed over the western Caribbean Sea and the neighboring regions of central America. Heavy rainfall fell over adjacent landmasses as the system organized just east of the coast of Belize and moved slowly northward. By late on June 18, a huge north-south area of convection lay just to the east of the center of the disturbance, but it was still not organized enough to be considered a tropical cyclone. When it moved over the Gulf of Mexico shortly afterward, the open waters stimulated further development: finally, on June 20, it developed into Tropical Storm Cindy.

From its formation onward, Cindy did not look particularly like a tropical storm. The center remained largely devoid of convection, with several low-cloud swirls competing for dominance. Heavy rain was falling, but well away from the center in the northern semicircle. Much of this precipitation was already falling over land, from eastern Texas to the Florida panhandle. Cindy moved slowly toward the northwest as a medium-strength tropical storm through that night and June 21. Unfavorable wind shear prevented the storm from intensifying further. Early the next morning, Cindy made landfall near the border of Louisiana and Texas. After landfall, it quickly weakened to a tropical depression. The remnants of Cindy continued to bring rain over the U.S. as it traveled northeastward at a progressively faster clip over the following days.

Tropical Storm Cindy was a rather asymmetrical system with little to no convection near the center of circulation.

Cindy existed as a tropical cyclone only briefly in the Gulf of Mexico before making landfall.

Tropical Storm Bret (2017)

Storm Active: June 19-20

On June 13, a tropical wave formed just off the Atlantic coast of Africa and began rapidly moving toward the west. From the beginning, the system was located at a very low latitude, but was quite vigorous in its production of thunderstorm activity. Conditions were favorable for development in the low-latitude tropical Atlantic, and organization proceeded slowly over the next several days. By June 18, the wave had developed a broad circulation, but was having difficulty acquiring a well-defined center due to its rapid westward motion. The next day, a closed center was found; since gale force winds were already occurring north of the center, it was classified Tropical Storm Bret. At the time, it was centered just east of coastal Venezuela moving toward the west at a blustering 30 mph.

Early on June 20, the center of Bret crossed extreme northern Venezuela and moved into the much more hostile environment of the eastern Caribbean, where wind shear was quite high. The system's circulation, never well established, did not long survive these conditions, and Bret dissipated that same afternoon. Bret was the first known system to develop so early in the season within the low-latitude tropical Atlantic east of the Caribbean. It was also the lowest-latitude Atlantic tropical system in June since 1933.

The above image shows Tropical Storm Bret near the island of Trinidad.

Though short-lived, Bret was an unusual tropical storm. It was one of a rare class of tropical cyclones to make landfall in South America.