Skip Navigation Links
NOAA NOAA United States Department of Commerce

Atlantic Tropical Weather Discussion

AXNT20 KNHC 232046 AAA

Tropical Weather Discussion...Updated
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL
2046 UTC Sat Jan 23 2021

Updated Gulf of Mexico section

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 
1930 UTC.


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 Sun 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.


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.


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 confirmed 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 from this evening 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 Sun 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 Sun through Mon. The high pressure will weaken 
late Mon 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.


Refer to the Special Features 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 Mon through Wed.
A north well will propagate into the Tropical North Atlantic 
waters from Mon night through Thu. A cold front is likely to
enter the Yucatan Channel from the northwest Thu night.


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 Sun morning. 
The merged front will stall along 21N north of the coast of the 
Dominican Republic by Mon afternoon and dissipate on Tue. A new 
cold front will move across the northern waters Tue night shifting
south while weakening through early Thu. Another stronger cold 
front may move off the southeast United States coast by Thu 
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 north of the Canary Islands 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.