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Tropical Weather Discussion
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL
1242 PM EST Sat Jan 20 2018

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 
1730 UTC.


Broad strong high pressure over the SW N Atlc waters will 
continue to move eastward while slightly strengthening the next 
two days. This is currently supporting fresh to near gale-force 
winds in the south-central Caribbean waters with the strongest 
winds being along the coast of NW Colombia. The pressure 
gradient in this region is expected to slightly increase 
tonight, thus leading to the development of gale-force winds 
along Colombia. Gale winds are expected to continue through 
Sunday morning, but remain in the strong to near-gale range 
through Monday. See the latest NHC High Seas Forecast under 
AWIPS/WMO headers MIAHSFEP2/FZPN03 KNHC for more details.


The monsoon trough enters the Atlantic Ocean near 07N12W and 
continues to 03N16W to 01N21W. The ITCZ begins near 01N21W and 
continues along 01N40W to 01S50W. Scattered moderate rain showers
are from 01N to 06N between 10W-18W and within 175 nm either side
of the ITCZ.



A broad surface ridge extends from the SW N Atlc waters across 
Florida, the SE CONUS, into the Gulf and into inland Mexico. This
setting is providing the basin with light to moderate return 
flow, except for locally fresh wind off the coast of Texas. A 
middle to upper level low centered between Louisiana and 
Mississippi extends a trough S-SW across the basin. To the east, 
SW flow associated with the NW periphery of a ridge centered in 
the south-central Caribbean supports diffluent flow, which is 
supporting cloudiness and possible isolated showers across the E 
Gulf, the Yucatan Channel and the Florida Straits. A weakness in 
the ridge analyzed as a surface trough along the SE coast of 
Florida into the Straits of Florida may enhance the shower 
activity for the SE Gulf. Otherwise, low level moisture 
convergence support isolated showers over Louisiana adjacent 
waters as indicated by radar imagery. The next cold front will 
come off the coast of Texas Monday morning, extend from the 
Florida Big Bend SW to near Tuxpan, Mexico Tuesday morning and 
then is expected to stall over  South Florida to the central 
Gulf waters Wednesday. Remnants of the front will lift N late on 
Wed, with strong NE winds developing across the NW Gulf waters. 


A broad middle to upper level ridge centered over the south-
central waters covers the Caribbean. Diffluent flow in the 
western periphery of this ridge along with moderate to high low 
level moisture support scattered showers within 175 nm west of a 
surface trough that extends along Nicaragua, Costa Rica and 
northern Panama adjacent waters. Isolated showers are elsewhere 
west of 75W. The tail of a weakening stationary front extends 
across the Windward Passage to near 18N80W supporting isolated 
showers in that region and over portions of Hispaniola. Shallow 
moisture in the trade winds may support scattered to isolated 
showers across Puerto Rico and adjacent waters. Otherwise, 
strong high pressure over SW N Atlc waters supports fresh to 
near-gale force winds in the south-central basin, increasing to 
gale-force off the coast of Colombia tonight through Sunday 
morning. See the Special Features section for more details.


Partly cloudy skies prevail across the island as the tail of a
weakening stationary front extends across the Windward Passage
towards western Jamaica adjacent waters. Isolated showers are
occurring along the northern half of the Island. Similar weather 
conditions are forecast through Sunday morning as the front 
dissipates. Fresh northeasterly winds will continue across the 
Windward Passage through tonight and then it will limit to the 
Atlc approaches as the ridge slides towards the central Atlc 


Strong high pressure covers the SW N Atlc waters being anchored 
by a 1026 mb high near 29N72W. A weakness in the ridge is 
analyzed as a surface trough along the SE Florida coast SW 
towards the Straits of Florida. This surface feature in 
underneath diffluent flow aloft between a trough over the Gulf 
and a broad ridge covering the Caribbean Sea. This scenario 
support cloudiness and possible isolated showers in the northern 
Bahamas, the Great Bahama Bank and the straits. A broad middle 
to upper trough over the north-central Atlc with base near 30N 
continue to support a cold front that extends from 30N47W SW to 
22N59W to 21N67W. From 21N67W, the front transitions to a 
weakening stationary front that traverses the Windward Passage. 
Scattered to isolated showers are N of 24N between 40W and 55W. 
The remaining eastern Atlc is under the influence of the Azores 
high that extends a ridge axis near 23N.
The front in the central Atlc will continue to weaken as it loses
support from aloft. A remnant surface trough is forecast in the
central waters by Monday morning. The next cold front will exit
the NE Florida coast Tuesday afternoon. 

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