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By: CybrTeddy , 1:42 PM GMT on August 16, 2012
Good morning and welcome to my tropical weather update for Thursday, August 16th, 2012. The African wave mentioned in my previous update moved off of Africa and is now Tropical Storm Gordon - the 7th named storm of the season. I would like to point out that the fact we are on Gordon in mid-August is probably a signal that this hurricane season will be at least slightly-above average. True, in the case of Alberto, Beryl and Chris, one could argue the fact that three of those where non-tropical developments. However, this is the 3rd named storm to develop just in the past two weeks and it appears this active period isn't likely to end soon. We are in that time of season where things naturally begin to pick up even in the slowest of years.
Figure 1. Satellite image of Tropical Storm Gordon.
Gordon should continue to intensify and could become a hurricane sometime soon. Latest microwave images show that Gordon has already developed a fully mature eyewall and will likely strengthen throughout the day. Gordon is no threat to land fortunately with the exception of the Azores. In an interesting turn of fate, the last tropical cyclone to directly impact the Azores was Hurricane Gordon of 2006, which became a major hurricane.
Figure 2. Current forecast track for Tropical Storm Gordon.
Watching Africa for tropical development
The next area of interest to watch out for is the possibility of our first major Cape Verde hurricane. The GFS, ECMWF, and CMC all indicate that a tropical wave will emerge sometime this week and gradually develop into a tropical storm. This seems a fair solution, we're in that time of year that tropical cyclones generally do develop off Africa in even the slowest of years and become major hurricanes. I suspect that we could see Helene very soon.
Figure 3. Current European (ECMWF) model run out to 120 hours.
It is too early to really begin to speculate on track, however it appears that the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) will be going negative over the next few days. This will in turn cause the A/B high to drop further south but will also cause it to weaken and allow for troughs to easily erode it and allow storms to move out to sea. This is the case usually for Cape Verde hurricanes regardless of the NAO, as a positive NAO would also allow for a system to move out to sea.
Figure 4. Latest ECMWF NAO forecast.
Paying attention to the Gulf of Mexico for development
There is a possibility that part of the remnants of Tropical Depression 7 could combine with a frontal low and develop into an entirely new cyclone. The NHC recognizes this fact and gives the remnants of TD7 a 10% chance of this happening. The models are very so-so on this right now with the ECMWF perhaps being the most aggressive. Time will indeed tell what happens.
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