A lot of disorganized convection is over the Western Atlantic & Bahamas & is related to the leftovers of an upper level trough. We'll need to watch this area -- especially near the Bahamas -- for any persistent convection but models are not indicating such at this time.
The Gulf is very quiet with little even in the way of clouds - the perfect beach weekend from Texas to the Fl. Panhandle....
The area of dry mid & upper level air (black & rust colored areas on the water vapor satellite image below) continues to gradually shrink over the Central Atlantic & Caribbean but is still evident.
Shear is still significant over much of the Atlantic Basin -- as can be seen below -- exceeding 30 knots over parts of the Gulf of Mexico... 30+ knots over parts of the Caribbean... 30-40+ knots over the Central Atlantic. Until & unless the shear relaxes, tropical cyclones will generally struggle in such an environment.
The frequency of tropical waves moving off Africa is generally steady but still lacks much organization or -- for that matter -- strong convection. Long range forecast models continue to show the potential for some development but lack any consistency & - in general - are not as "bullish" as last week.
And Solace Insurance is emphasizing now is not the time to take down your guard regarding the tropics or any potential natural disaster:
(Clearwater, FL) August 27, 2013
The abundance of damage caused by natural disasters in the past begs the question: "Is Florida relatively uninsurable?" Florida is known as an uncertain insurance market as the vast majority of its insured residential and commercial property lies in coastal areas vulnerable to both wind damage and flooding (2).
Solace CEO Bob Childress warns Floridians against being lured into a false sense of security by the lack of recent hurricanes as 2013 has been predicted to be a "more active than average" hurricane season. And, continued Childress, hurricanes are not the only factor to be wary of – seemingly harmless tropical storms can also make a significant impact:
Childress encourages Floridians to begin insurance preparations for hurricanes as quickly as possible. Because many
"When there’s such a long lapse between severe storms, the public’s memory of the aftermath of storms tends to get a bit hazy – but thinking that nothing is going to happen could potentially be a catastrophic mistake," said Childress. "Many people learn too late that they have gaps in their insurance coverage."
Childress suggests that all residents review insurance coverage for home and businesses as the first step in hurricane preparation:
* Speak with an insurance agent or provider to ensure that coverage is comprehensive and alter policies as necessary to ensure safety in the event of disaster;
* Determine flood/wind insurance eligibility as homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage and may not cover wind damage;
* Keep insurance policies in safe and secure areas in home, business or even a safe deposit box. Better yet – image important documents and store them in the cloud via services such as Dropbox or Google Drive.
* Documenting inventory and equipment through photos and video;
* Maintaining backups that can restore client, vendor and supplier information and finances, either in remote servers or cloud storage (5).
For business owners, a large risk also lies in the damage caused by off-shores storms such as 1985’s Hurricane Elena – Pinellas and Hillsborough county buildings suffered extensive damage, even though the storm stayed 60 miles from the shore (4). Solace Insurance warns Florida residents not to let the recent gaps in major storm landfall lead to complacency – residents must seek insurance coverage to ensure the safety of their homes and businesses.
"The key to overcoming hurricane season begins long before the season starts—every resident is at risk and should maintain catastrophic insurance plans that offer safety in the case of damages," said Childress. "Floridians have to plan ahead and realize that the next hurricane could come at any time, without warning."
Hurricanes are not the only factor to be wary of – seemingly harmless tropical storms can also make a significant impact:* In 2008, Tropical Storm Fay moved very slowly across Florida and caused significant flooding in parts of the state;
* In June 2013, Tropical Storm Debby caused significant flooding and spawned numerous tornadoes.