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Publication Type
Conference Proceedings
UWI Author(s)
Author, Analytic
Owino, Albert; Chen, Abraham Anthony; Taylor, Michael A.
Author Role
n/a
Author Affiliation
Department of Physics
Paper/Section Title
The role of southwestern Caribbean in the formation of tropical storms in the Caribbean Basin
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Editor/Compiler
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Proceedings Title
Proceedings of the Sixth Conference, Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences edited by Daniel Coore and Robert J.Lancashire.
Date of Meeting
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Place of Meeting
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Place of Publication
Kingston, Jamaica
Publisher Name
Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences, University of the West Indies
Date of Publication
2003
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Volume ID
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Location in Work
37-38
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Series Editor Role
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Abstract
The tropical storm season in the North Atlantic basin starts in May, peaks in September and then declines, generally following the seasonal warming and cooling of the sea surface temperature. In the Caribbean Basin, in contrast, there is a distinct bimodal distribution in the number of tropical storms which peaks in June and October, separated by a minimum in July. The July minimum in tropical storms is associated to what is now referred to as the mid-summer drought that affects parts of the Caribbean Basin and Central America. The development of tropical storms critically depends upon the presence of warm water at the sea surface. The critical sea surface tempereature for tropical storm development is determined as 26.5C. This sea surface temperature condition is generally not achieved over southwestern Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico in the tropical storm season. In the rest of the Caribbean, the critical sea surface temperature condition is generally not met but the southwestern Caribbean apparently dominated the region in setting the stage for either favourable or unfavourable conditions for the development and occurrence of tropical storms. Synoptic analyses of the National Centers Environment Prediction reanalysis data set shows some of the systems responsible for the favourable storm formation over sourthwestern Caribbean. The mid-summer drought is a result of sub-synoptic ocean-atmosphere interaction affecting the southwestern Caribbean and Central America. A similar but opposite interaction may explain some of the October storm maximum over the Caribbean basin.....
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