Tuesday, May 12th, 2020

Weather watch for southern Florida and the Bahamas,

The Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico storm season has piped up quicker than many expected

Watch out southern Florida and the Bahamas, the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico storm season has piped up quicker than many expected.

A frontal system is shaping up to move east across the south-eastern Atlantic which will leave a tail centred around the Florida Keys area in the next two to three days. At this time of year, this type of pressure gradient often forms a low pressure cell in its wake. Whilst this is likely to head harmlessly seaward, it will produce heavy rain and thunderstorms across southern Florida and the Bahamas. If this digs in, it does have a slim chance of forming a tropical depression or perhaps a named storm by the weekend.

Our information comes from Captain Adrian McCourt who issues by email a daily bulletin to over 700 recipients and for those who dabble in the dark arts, later posted on Twitter @Watkinsmarine and on his website.

This wonderfully free service is distributed without restriction. To be added to the list, please contact either Laura lborley@munichre.com or the Captain himself at amccourt@munichre.com and he will add you to the list.

Follow his Twitter account where amongst other things, he occasionally post other matters of maritime interest, some history for the buffs and images of unaffordable yachts. He is closing in on 10,000 followers and while that falls short of our own following, it would be nice to watch him reach that target this season.

He is closing in on 10,000 followers and while that falls short of our own following, it would be nice to watch him reach that target this season.

His reports started life as a very brief, easy-to-read daily and when appropriate, light-hearted bulletin for the energy team. As more syndicate staff asked to be added, he began to receive requests from third parties, brokers initially, then other underwriters. Now he has a wide range of addressees including offshore operators, superyacht Captains and owners, fishermen, drillers and seafarers keen to watch and learn. 

Reluctant forecast 2020

He has made plain his disdain for long-range forecasts and ad says; “Eleven years of this has taught me that I’m no smarter now than I was when I was dodging storms for a living. The more that I learn, the less I know.”

Nonetheless, he has been persuaded to take a stab at a forecast.

He says: “On the basis of one guess being as good as any other, my reluctant prediction is for 17 named storms, 9 hurricanes and 5 major hurricanes. As ever, I hope this is a wild–overestimation.”

Names this year are

  • ARTHUR
  • BERTHA
  • CRISTOBAL
  • DOLLY
  • EDOUARD
  • FAY
  • GIBZAKI
  • HANNA
  • ISAIAS
  • JOSEPHINE
  • KYLE
  • LAURA
  • MARCO
  • NANA
  • OMAR,
  • PAULETTE
  • RENE (his season end)
  • SALLY
  • TEDDY
  • VICKY
  • WILFRED

Blind Sniper

“Many of you will be aware that I draw information from a number of sources, varying from the reliable agencies such as the UK Met Office, a couple of Europeans and of course many US, particularly military, sources. In quiet times, I occasionally share a snippet from one of the more eccentric storm enthusiasts who can always be relied upon to see a cumulus cloud and predict Armageddon. One such observer is the Canadian guy, or ‘blind sniper’, who seems to have acquired a popular following amongst you, judging from feedback received. He has had the odd success over the years, but has only been remarkable by fairly consistent inaccuracy. He did at one point produce a track last year which would have passed directly over my house, giving me some cause to suspect that he is on to me and knows where I live.”

Captain McCourt concludes: “Thanks to the many of you who read our daily blurb who have sent kind messages of thanks and feedback at the end of the 2019 season, particularly the growing Blind Sniper Fan Club. Always much appreciated.“

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