Will devote this hurricane season to provide up-to-the-minute, basic information when a tropical system is threatening land. Both basins included.
By: hurricaneben, 9:30 PM GMT on August 30, 2012
Flash flooding and isolated tornadoes remains the biggest concern as Tropical Depression Leslie weakens moving inland--now bringing northern Louisiana and Arkansas more of its very heavy rainfall with flash flooding still a major hazard. Several counties in Louisiana and Mississippi went under 'flash flood emergencies' earlier today with severe flooding (water rescues, homes flooded) reported. The death toll now stands at an overall 39 with at least $1.5 billion USD in preliminary damage for the Mainland US alone, an indication that Isaac caused major damage and a high number of deaths so it will likely be the 8th 'I' storm in the past 12 years to be retired from the name list.
We have more action in the tropics to talk about: Hurricane Kirk, a rapidly strengthening system with winds now up to 90 MPH and more strengthening should occur in the next day or two before it hits much cooler waters. This could briefly attain major hurricane strength by tomorrow, but the good news is that no land masses seem to be threatened by Kirk or its extratropical remnants in the foreseeable future.
We have another strengthening system on our hands and that's Tropical Storm Leslie. With winds of 45 MPH, more strengthening is likely and it could become a hurricane by late tomorrow--so it should intensify at a fairly fast rate--then could be a CAT2/possibly CAT3 hurricane by late in the weekend as it passes well to the east of Bermuda. There is no immediate threat to land, at least in the next 5 days though Bermuda may want to keep an eye out just in case the track shifts westward which would immediately increase the risk to the island. Again, not an immediate threat to land but one to watch after the weekend for any new shifts toward land.
That's it for this post, I'll have another one in tomorrow afternoon though I may not be able to post this weekend as I'll be away for Labor Day with family and friends.
By: hurricaneben, 8:58 PM GMT on August 29, 2012
Isaac has weakened a notch back into a high-end TS since last post as it moves slowly inland but the danger continues for many along the Northern Gulf Coast and is now spreading inland. There was just a report of a levee failure near Madisonville LA, no word on the severity of the flooding results if any. Moderate flooding damage has been the case with the possibility of dangerous inland flooding as well so, yeah, things are still rough in Louisiana, Mississippi...weakening is expected as it moves further inland but rainfall flooding soon will be the biggest story as Isaac gradually moves north into the interior Lower 48.
Tropical Storm Kirk is there and strengthening with more strengthening on the way. It should still be a bit slow to strengthen, now with winds of 50 MPH, but we might see a hurricane and maybe a CAT2 hurricane at peak by the end of the week/holiday weekend. Thankfully no land masses seem to be threatened by Kirk as it stands right now.
The African AOI I brought up in yesterday's post has continued to steadily organize. It's still days away from land so we have a lot of time to watch it and right now there is a decent chance of it turning out to sea...then again some models do suggest N Lesser Antilles and Bermuda may be affected down the road. It is close to TD status and has a 60% chance of becoming one by Friday afternoon, according to NHC's latest outlook. Right now, our biggest concern remains to be Isaac.
By: hurricaneben, 9:02 PM GMT on August 28, 2012
The biggest story continues to Hurricane Isaac's potentially major surge impacts along the US Gulf Coast. Tropical storm force winds already being felt along a long swath of the Northern Gulf Coast from Louisiana to the western Florida Panhandle and somewhat inland as well, with winds nearing hurricane force in a few coastal areas of Louisiana as of 500 PM. Isaac is very close to landfall as a category one with winds of around 80 MPH. Some slight strengthening could occur before it makes a final landfall sometime tonight in the next 6 to 12 hours from 500 PM EDT and storm surge/inland flooding will be the biggest concerns with this one. Isolated rainfall amounts may exceed 20 inches, likely resulting in localized dangerous flooding with a storm surge of 6 to 12 feet above ground levels which will significantly flood many low-lying areas so it will be both a coastal event and an inland event. Winds won't be as life-threatening as the flooding, certainly, but still should cause decent damage such as downed trees and structural damage with gusts potentially reaching 100 MPH. Isolated tornadoes will also be a possibility, so stay safe.
Tropical Depression Eleven has formed and slight strengthening is expected, possibly into a minimal tropical storm but as it stands right now, no land masses seem to be threatened by this system and all eyes should continue to be shifted to Isaac.
One wave off Africa may deserve our attention after Isaac fades away in the next couple of days but right now is not an immediate threat to land. Development is possible and some models do take this toward the Northern Lesser Antilles so for now let's just watch this casually and aim most of our attention towards Hurricane Isaac.
By: hurricaneben, 10:16 PM GMT on August 27, 2012
TS Isaac is finally organizing and starting the strengthening is process, as its winds are now up to 70 MPH with further strengthening expected. It should become a hurricane very soon in the next 12 hours then probably will be a category two hurricane by early Wednesday just prior to a morning/noon landfall in SE Louisiana/S Mississippi coastline where storm surge may be a very major concern for coastal residents in the New Orleans area, an area that does not need any storm surge issues after what happened there during the infamous Katrina catastrophe just seven years ago tomorrow, so definitely an ironic and unfortunately possibly destructive twist to the seven-year anniversary this week. Now thankfully it does not look like the impacts will be as severe as Katrina but still we may see locally major coastal flooding issues same areas that got the brunt of Katrina and not only will there be coastal concerns but inland flooding may be a significant threat to those in central/north LA/MS/AL/NW FL/GA with isolated rainfall amounts possibly nearing 20 inches. South Florida got locally significant flooding overnight in certain areas overnight and rainfall amounts hardly reached one foot so imagine what may happen in low-lying areas, be safe over there. I'll have an update tomorrow on the latest forecast impacts of Isaac.
By: hurricaneben, 9:17 PM GMT on August 26, 2012
Florida Keys might have already experienced its worst impacts as TS Isaac is about to cross the Lower Keys region with winds at around 60 MPH, so down a bit by 5 MPH. Minor damage as well as scattered power outages were reported all along the Keys and into South Florida Peninsula as well but it could have been a whole lot worse--actually, the impacts are still occurring as of Sunday afternoon with gusty winds and intermittent heavy rainfall but these may ease in the south part of Florida in the next 12-24 hours then spread north and t now looks as though the Central Gulf Coast may be in for a big hit--things are now looking very bad for the same areas affected by Katrina. Hurricane warnings are up for a decent portion of the Gulf Coast including New Orleans, Gulfport, Mobile Bay and into the western Florida Panhandle. This is forecast to steadily start to strengthen, could become a hurricane by tomorrow then a significant one at that by Wednesday as it heads into a landfall along the Mississippi/SE Louisiana coastline. Storm surges could range from 6 to potentially as much as 12 feet in areas that do not need all this high water so definitely a serious situation shaping up. Thankfully it does not look like it will rival Katrina's catastrophic impacts by reading the surge/wind forecasts but still enough to cause locally severe damage so keep updated as the Isaac Train continues to roll on. Things are certainly getting serious out there.
Updated: 9:20 PM GMT on August 26, 2012
By: hurricaneben, 9:21 PM GMT on August 25, 2012
The threat to South Florida has risen slightly in the past 24 hours, with urgent actions already being made by counties. School closures and upgraded/expanded warnings are signs that Isaac still poses a significant threat to the southern peninsula, and likely an even greater threat to the Panhandle/SE AL before all is said and done this week.
Reports come in of major flooding damage throughout parts of Haiti as a result of TS/soon-to-be Hurricane Isaac. At least 3 deaths have been confirmed, and unfortunately the toll may rise a bit considering the amount of homeless people (following the 2010 earthquake tragedy) vulnerable to the severe flooding hazards.
Tropical storm conditions and rainfall amounts of 4 to 8 inches is likely going to result in some damage from rainfall and flooding, but at this time it looks as though the damage should be fairly minor.
S FL/FL Keys
South Florida may be in for some decent damage as Isaac is projected to bring rainfall amounts of 5 to 8 inches, with isolated higher amounts, to virtually all of South Florida which may result in considerable flooding for many low-lying areas and such. Also, winds of near hurricane-force may cause minor to moderate damage in the Keys and storm surge may lead to coastal flooding of potentially major levels along the coast of SW Florida with lesser coastal flooding still possible along SE Florida. Isolated to scattered tornadoes also may be thrown into the mix of hazards for S FL Sunday-Monday.
C/N FL Peninsula
There exists a high possibility of squally weather with gusty winds and minor to moderate flooding in Central and NE Florida so interests there will want to be very wary of Isaac's potential presence.
Here's where things may get even rougher than South Florida. With Isaac expected to be a category two at landfall in the Panhandle, major to destructive surge/wind damage is a possibility in areas prone to such hazards. Also, there is the chance of severe inland flooding with isolated amounts possibly near 16 inches over NW Florida/S Georgia/SE Alabama...an area that does not need much more rainfall after what Debby did to the area back in June. Still that's at least 3-5 days out so should these impacts rise or lessen, I'll keep you updated.
Interior SE US
Isaac's remnants may stall over Southeast US and there is that chance of a major flooding event even as far inland as Tennessee/N AL/N MS so interests up there may also want to keep updated with Isaac's progress just in case such a major hazard plays out but right now, it looks as though Florida should be at highest alert out of the entire Mainland US.
I'll have an update on the expected impacts tomorrow or on Monday, depending.
Updated: 9:07 PM GMT on August 26, 2012
By: hurricaneben, 12:10 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Tropical Storm Isaac's center is very close to making landfall in SW Haiti. Isaac is an upper-end tropical storm with winds of around 65 MPH and barometric pressure down to 992 milibars. Landfall should occur in the next several hours, some weakening is expected before Isaac emerges into the Florida Straits sometime tomorrow afternoon. That's where things could get very favorable for Isaac as it passes through the Florida Keys as a borderline hurricane then heads in the general direction of the Florida Panhandle, possibly near category two intensity by the time it makes landfall there around Tuesday or Wednesday so definitely a serious concern for many and one to watch. Still things are very uncertain, and I won't be surprised if Isaac's track shifts back to the east and the threat re-increases for South Florida. Tropical storm watches are up for South Florida & the Keys by the way, and these can be upgraded to warnings or even hurricane watches. Winds of close to tropical-storm strength along with locally heavy flooding rainfall and minor coastal flooding is expected in the Miami area and Isaac's center is currently expected to be over 150 miles away at closest approach, that may change and the threat may rise so keep an eye on Isaac.
By: hurricaneben, 9:09 PM GMT on August 23, 2012
Despite poor organization, Tropical Storm Isaac may soon make a comeback as it skirts near Haiti then moves into Cuba by Saturday as a stronger TS. The good news is that this may somewhat miss a full impact in Haiti but all of Florida should be on high alert for a potential hurricane headed there by the start of the week (right now, the Keys and the Gulf Coast/Panhandle are at highest risk). Interests in the Eastern Gulf Coast (MS/AL) should also wanna keep a close eye as the tracks have been shifting more to the west. This may be near category 2 intensity by the point of final landfall. Keep updated with the latest, and everyone in the cone of uncertainty should really be watching Isaac as the future still remains rather uncertain.
By: hurricaneben, 11:57 PM GMT on August 22, 2012
Tropical Storm Isaac is currently not doing very well intensification-wise but more steady strengthening is expected in the next day or two before it comes ashore and skirts Haiti as a minimal hurricane, brushes along the Cuban coastline then emerges into the Florida Straits and heads in the general direction of the Florida Keys/FL Gulf Coast. Now Haiti may be in for the worst of Isaac as it is prone to many major disasters and we could see some serious, destructive concern with flooding and mudslides there so let's hope for the best. But Cuba and especially the Florida Peninsula should keep a very close eye too as the Republican Convention is supposed to be held in Tampa when Isaac is forecast to pass by likely as a category one/two hurricane. So Hispaniola, Cuba, Florida Peninsula and possibly other areas in the future should be reviewing their preparations right now.
Tropical Depression Ten is out there but is not as much of an immediate threat as Isaac is. It should slowly strengthen into a tropical storm but not do much past that. It's no immediate threat to any land masses though Bermuda may wanna watch as they may be threatened about a week out but that's still many days away so we have a lot of time to watch TD-10 for trends and any future land threats.
By: hurricaneben, 9:07 PM GMT on August 21, 2012
Tropical Storm Isaac has formed in the western Atlantic with winds of 40 MPH. Gradual strengthening is expected in the next couple of days and this could become a hurricane as early as Thursday as it turns for a likely landfall in Cuba by the weekend and from there, the exact track is not very clear. Still, the Florida Peninsula may be one of the most likely targets as models consistently took it over South and/or Central Florida. Interests in much of Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands & surrounding areas need to be the most alert for this potentially dangerous system. It could be near category two intensity by the time it goes into Cuba so some troubles there. Florida Peninsula and the rest of the SE/Gulf US Coast also need to pay attention for further trends and future threats to land.
Invest 96L is getting its act together and a TD/TS forming out of this is now much more likely. Still not a tropical cyclone and the threat to land, if any, is unclear at this time as models have been all over the place.
By: hurricaneben, 11:55 PM GMT on August 20, 2012
Gordon has left us as it has quickly lost tropical characteristics but there are still 3 AOIs we must monitor as they all may be a threat to land one way or another: but 94L remains the biggest short-term threat of a TC threat.
This one has been catching everyone's attention for the past few days. Still not a TD as convective activity is a bit too limited for TD/TS classification, but any increase would result in this becoming a tropical cyclone and that seems likely even tonight. One way or another, Northern Lesser Antilles & Hispaniola need to be watching 94L very closely but the Lower 48 may wanna monitor this system as well (particularly Florida, which has been the target of several recent model trends). Still the path beyond the Caribbean Islands are highly uncertain, so let's all keep a watchful eye on 94L...shall we? The NHC gives this a very high 90% chance of TC formation by Wednesday evening.
Next up is Invest 96L, which still has a lower chance of short-term formation than 94L but must be watched as it does have the potential. Models are very widespread, some taking it into the Caribbean, out to sea or in between. But it could threaten land before all is said and done so 96L should be watched a bit just to keep up with trends and any future threats to land. A TD/TS forming from this one is certainly a strong possibility sometime this week. The NHC gives this a 40% chance of TC formation by Wednesday evening.
Invest 95L does not have as much time to develop before it moves inland over NE Mexico in a day or two but conditions still are favorable for gradual development in the short run so we will be watching this one as well. Regardless, increasing winds and locally heavy rainfall could be likely impacts for NE Mexico. The NHC gives this a 30% chance of TC formation by Wednesday evening...or Tuesday, in this case.
I'll have another blog post/update on the developing tropical situation tomorrow afternoon or evening--if possible.
Updated: 11:57 PM GMT on August 20, 2012
By: hurricaneben, 11:50 PM GMT on August 19, 2012
There's more ingredients added to the brewing tropical stew.
Hurricane Gordon has winds at 85 MPH and is nearing the Azores Islands. Greatest impacts should be tomorrow morning when a lot of high winds and heavy rainfall is forecast so stay alert if you're in the Azores Islands as the weather is steadily detotiriating in these islands. Weakening is expected to continue and Gordon could become extratropical in the next couple of days.
Invest 94L is probably the biggest threat after Gordon leaves the Azores Islands. It is very close to TD status and I definitely think one will form by at least tomorrow. The NHC gives this a very high 80% chance of this occurring by Tuesday evening. Models do make this a concern for the N Lesser Antilles where everyone should be on high alert for a likely tropical storm or even hurricane in their area this week. The long-term is very uncertain but it looks like the Caribbean islands (Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba) have a good chance of seeing impacts. Lower 48? Not very clear yet, but the way things are looking, we may very well see a threat for someone along the US Mainland Coastline--that's too far out to tell so let's all just watch and see how things pan out down the road.
Invest 95L is meandering and has some decent chance of nearing TD/TS status before finally moving inland over NE Mexico. The NHC gives this a 20% chance of happening by Tuesday evening.
Not an Invest yet, but we are starting to eye one tropical wave that just emerged off of Africa and has the opportunity for slow development.
To wrap things up: the tropics are starting to look highly busy so follow along because if you're not threatened now, you may be in the near future.
By: hurricaneben, 12:00 AM GMT on August 19, 2012
The tropics continue to show us its best.
Hurricane Gordon has strengthened impressively in recent hours and is now a high-end category two (nearly a major hurricane). Azores Islands is on high alert as damaging winds and very heavy rainfall is in store in the next 24 to 48 hours. Now Gordon is expected to be a bit weaker by the time it affects these islands (category one most likely) but still will put on a windy damper on any activities in these islands so keep a close eye on this potentially dangerous Hurricane Gordon.
Helene has weakened into a tropical depression and expected to dissipate shortly. Flooding rainfall is still a concern so watch out as TD Helene moves inland over NE Mexico.
Yes, 94L is just an area of potential development but the way trends are looking, this may be one that many should be watching as the upcoming week progresses. 94L is organizing quite a bit and conditions are favorable for a TD/TS to form in the short run...I do suspect we'll be talking about one by this time tomorrow. Models make this a great concern for the Lesser Antilles, no doubt about it, but how strong will it get? That varies, we could see a hurricane affecting that region several days out so keep a close eye on 94L's development. As for any concerns for the Lower 48, that would be a well over a week away and there is no way to know the exact path beyond the NE Caribbean region so for now, let's shift our eyes to the Lesser Antilles and we'll see beyond then.
By: hurricaneben, 12:10 AM GMT on August 18, 2012
A lot is kicking up in the tropics--at least in the Atlantic, that is.
Tropical Storm Gordon continues to speed towards the Azores Islands with winds at around 65 MPH. Residents there should really be prepared for rounds of nasty, squally weather as Gordon passes by as a borderline hurricane in the next 36 hours.
Tropical Storm Helene has regenerated and poses a major flood concern to NE Mexico residents. With winds of 45 MPH, slight additional strengthening is forecast before landfall sometime in the next 12 to 24 hours. Widespread rainfall amounts will total at 5 to 10 inches, with isolated amounts as high as 15 inches, that's enough to cause serious flooding so keep a close eye on the weather if you're in areas threatened/affected by Helene.
Models are generally all over the place with this system: a fraction of them recurve them out to sea, but some more reliable models make this a threat to the NE Caribbean. It's still an AOI over the eastern Atlantic but we will monitor its progress as conditions become increasingly favorable over the next few days. The NHC gives this only about a 20% chance of TC formation by Sunday evening.
I'll have an update tomorrow if possible.
By: hurricaneben, 2:58 AM GMT on August 17, 2012
Sorry I've been out in the past 2 days as I was on vacation in Orlando. But now we're tracking TS Gordon, with 70 MPH winds. More strengthening is anticipated before hitting slightly more unfavorable conditions 36-48 hours out. We will likely see this become a hurricane early tomorrow, but there is no immediate major threat to land. However, Azores Islands may be affected as an extratropical system with high winds and locally heavy rainfall--possibly leading to minor damage, though likely nothing extreme, during the very start to next week. Western Europe may also feel some impacts a few days after. There is no threat to anywhere else--including Lower 48/Caribbean/Bermuda. Still we'll keep an eye on (Flash) Gordon.
Tropical Depression Seven's remnants looks to be making a comeback and has a 40% chance of TC formation (NHC) before moving ashore mainland Mexico 24-48 hours out. It will still be a very weak tropical cyclone, even should it form. Flooding rainfall is the biggest concern for Southern Veracruz and surrounding areas.
I'll have another post tomorrow, if possible.
By: hurricaneben, 12:50 AM GMT on August 15, 2012
Invest 93L has been organizing steadily since last blog post. It has a fairly strong chance and becoming a TD/TS in the next couple of days, with favorable conditions. Won't be surprised if this nears hurricane strength, let's just go along with the trends. Models keep this out at sea for the next several days but Azores Islands could see some impacts (such as gusty winds and a lot of rainfall, regardless of development) according to long-term model consensus, so it still bears some watching. The NHC gives this a strong 50% chance of TC formation by Thursday evening.
Tropical Storm Hector has winds around 40 MPH and does not appear to pose a threat to any land masses as it may be torn apart completely by cooler SSTs in the next few days. Whatever impacts come to the Southwest US (if any) will be as an extratropical system and nothing more. According to models and forecast tracks, this should not threaten land as a (sub)tropical cyclone.
Tropical Depression Seven's remnants are no longer expected to redevelop before it comes into the Central America coastline in the next 12 to 24 hours. Still, a significant amount of rainfall (locally heavy at times) and increased winds may affect Central America in the next 24 hours.
By: hurricaneben, 11:59 PM GMT on August 13, 2012
Things have certainly calmed down in the past 3 to 4 days. I will make this post quick, just because I am currently busy. Ernesto's remnants is now TS Hector in the Eastern Pacific and no apparent threat to land. It seems this will stay far enough from Mexico that there will be no actual land hazards, just maybe some increased surf and rip currents. Invest 93L has remained weak but may re-develop somewhat over the next couple of days as conditions will start to become more favorable. No immediate threat to land though it may bring some rain and wind to the Azores Islands several days down the road. NHC gives this a 20% chance of TC formation by Wednesday evening. TD-7's remnants have started to slightly re-organize and has also has just a 20% chance of TC formation as it heads westward in the general vicinity of Central America. That is all, I'll make another blog post tomorrow.
By: hurricaneben, 12:27 AM GMT on August 11, 2012
As Ernesto moves out for the picture (and possibly re-develops over the Eastern Pacific), our attention shifts to Tropical Depression Seven.
Tropical Depression Seven has been struggling since formation yesterday but could have the opportunity to strengthen by a little bit in the next day or so as it approaches impact in the Windward Islands tomorrow. We will probably see this become TS Gordon by tomorrow before being teared apart by dry air. This does not appear to be a threat to the Lower 48, as it is forecast to remain fairly weak and could dissipate just in the next couple of days due to drier air. A tropical storm watch is in effect for the Windward Islands.
Invest 93L AOI
Cooler SSTs is taking its toll on Invest 93L which now has a much lower chance of development in the short term. No immediate threat to land, but Bermuda may be affected a bit later down the road (next week) according to some of these models. Much warmer SSTs could stand in this area of interest's way by the time the week is kicked off. That's when more re-development is possible. The NHC only gives this a 20% chance of TC formation by Sunday evening.
By: hurricaneben, 10:16 PM GMT on August 09, 2012
As Tropical Storm Ernesto moves inland over Mainland Mexico with winds at around 60 MPH and flooding rainfall, more action seems to be in store for the Atlantic. Right now, I'll keep you updated with who gets who and what tropical systems are next.
Tropical Depression Seven has formed as of 5 PM and is moving quickly westward with winds of around 35 MPH. Slow strengthening is forecast and this could probably become a tropical storm tonight or tomorrow morning. No significant additional strengthening is expected over the next couple of days as it battles the same unfavorable conditions that helped slow down Ernesto's intensification in its early stages. By the weekend, this will probably make impact in the Northern Lesser Antilles and beyond that time frame, a more steady rate is expected. All that could be is said that the same areas that first got the impacts of TS Ernesto should keep an eye on this system. The threat to the Lower 48 is highly unclear at this time...if any.
A tropical wave on the fringes of emerging off of Africa is looking decent and has a chance of steady development once it emerges into the open waters near Cape Verde tonight. Where it goes and how strong it gets is unclear as it's still over land and not an Invest quite yet. But by Friday afternoon, it has a 20% chance of TC formation according to the NHC.
I'll update tomorrow afternoon.
By: hurricaneben, 12:07 AM GMT on August 09, 2012
After striking the Yucatan last night as a category one and causing minor to moderate wind damage (not all the damage reports are in yet), Ernesto has weakened into a 45-MPH tropical storm by the time it emerged into the Bay Of Campache earlier today and has now began to restrengthen as it heads towards the Mexican state of Campeche. Squalls are already beginning to affect these Gulf Coastlines and Ernesto may approach hurricane strength before final landfall sometime tomorrow afternoon. Isolated rainfall amounts near one foot may lead to dangerous flash flooding which appears to be more of a concern than the winds at this time.
Invest 92L is continuing to steadily organize as it heads westward at 10 to 15 MPH. TD/TS formation is now becoming a rather strong possibility within' the next few days. Models are all over the place--some take it south of the N Lesser Antilles, some into the Lesser Antilles and others north of the Lesser Antilles. But the main threat to land at this time appears to be those islands. It's days away from impact and not even a TD yet, so there's no need to take it very seriously just yet...only something to keep an occasional eye on. THE NHC gives this a 50% chance of TC formation by Friday evening.
By: hurricaneben, 9:13 PM GMT on August 07, 2012
The tropics are continuing to burst out in activity with both basins getting rather busy, but the Atlantic is where the most action is happening.
Hurricane Ernesto, with winds of 80 MPH, is very close to landfall in the Yucatan Peninsula Of Mexico which should occur sometime later tonight at a similar intensity if not a bit higher. If you are in the hurricane warning area and have not made your preparations yet, you should do it quick and in a hurry as tropical storm conditions are already starting to affect the coastline. After exiting the Yucatan, Mainland Mexico is next and final--landfall intensity may also be at hurricane strength so everyone under a watch or warning should prepare for potentially dangerous flooding and damaging winds.
Tropical Storm Gilma is in the Eastern Pacific, strengthening with 45 MPH winds, and further strengthening is forecast before hitting cooler waters by Thursday and this one briefly attaining hurricane intensity by that time is certainly a possibility but this is not a threat to land so just a fish spinner to watch as it swims out at sea.
The area of interest 92L has organized a bit since last blog post but its shower activity remains disorganized. It still could additionally develop somewhat (though not much) under marginal upper-level
winds but the chances of a TD forming out of this area of interest in the short-term...not very high, at this time. NHC gives this still a 20% chance of TC formation by Thursday afternoon. Some models do aim this at the Northern Lesser Antilles similar to Ernesto, others take it more north. It's not an immediate threat to land, even if it does develop.
There are 2 other tropical disturbances which have been noted by the NHC but neither are an immediate threat to land nor are they to expected to significantly develop in the short range.
I'll post again tomorrow.
By: hurricaneben, 12:35 AM GMT on August 07, 2012
Tropical Storm Ernesto has got its act quite together over the past 12 hours and has strengthened, now with winds at 65 MPH. Yeah, the RECON is now confirming that more organization is occurring and rapid intensification could be the deal with Ernesto before it makes landfall in the Yucatan tomorrow night or early on Wednesday as a higher-end category one. Hurricane warnings are up for the area so everyone there needs to prepare now for hurricane conditions at the very least and next...is Mainland Mexico (near/south of Veracruz) as a somewhat weaker but still strong tropical storm/minimal hurricane.
However, Ernesto is not the only game in town. Even though Florence has degenerated into a post-tropical cyclone is no longer an area of concern, we have 2 systems: one in the Eastern Pacific and is very close to TD status (70% chance of TC formation) and the other is far out in the Atlantic near the Cape Verde Islands. This one is tagged as Invest 92L and is not expected to undergo significant development but could slowly develop under marginal conditions and has a 20% chance of TC formation by Wednesday evening. Just an area of interest, models do take this generally towards the Lesser Antilles like Ernesto did. Right now it's not a major area of concern. Ernesto is the main story in the tropics.
Updated: 12:36 AM GMT on August 07, 2012
By: hurricaneben, 10:05 PM GMT on August 05, 2012
While disorganized, Tropical Storm Ernesto could start to get its act together and slowly strengthen over the next couple of days before coming ashore the Yucatan as a borderline hurricane. This is something to watch as flooding is still a concern even if the winds aren't too damaging. Dry air has kept Ernesto from getting its act fully together but it has been in good condition from time to time...as soon as this enters the western Gulf Of Mexico, re-strengthening will be an easier stage. There is no significant concern for the Lower 48, but Mainland Mexico appears to be in line after the Yucatan. Jamaica is also under a tropical storm warning from the NE quadrant as well as watches for the Cayman Islands and Honduras so be prepared for some squally weather if you live in these areas.
Florence has strengthened somewhat last night to a peak of 60 MPH but is now starting to lose its strength and organization. Florence is no threat to anyone, thankfully, as it is expected to completely fall apart before even reaching any land masses. I would worry more about Ernesto than Florence, the way forecast tracks and patterns are looking.
This should be the least of our concerns as all models take it out to sea but it is organizing in the Eastern Pacific, with a 30% chance of TC formation by Tuesday afternoon, according to the NHC, so I thought I'd briefly mention it.
By: hurricaneben, 5:44 PM GMT on August 04, 2012
Just in the past few days, the tropics burst in activity. Now we have 2 named storms in the Atlantic and one area of interest that, while not expected to develop much, is making way for a rather wet and stormy weekend across much of the Florida Peninsula (especially the southern half).
Tropical Storm Ernesto is definitely the biggest concern right now. While it has weakened slightly from its 60 MPH peak last night, re-strengthening is very likely in the short term and this could become a minimal hurricane by late tomorrow as it passes just south of Jamaica. Tropical storm warnings are up for there so expect a rather wet and windy start to the week, but nothing major in the terms of damage. However as current trends go, Yucatan seems likely to be in for a direct hit/landfall possibly as a higher end category one toward the middle of the week and from there...enter the western Gulf Of Mexico. There is no immediate threat to the Lower 48, but by the time we get into the latter half of next week, things may change.
Tropical Storm Florence is gradually strengthening and now has winds of 45 MPH. However due to dry air ahead, any additional strengthening should be slight. It poses no threat to land at this time, as it is expected to significantly weaken or fall apart before it even reaches land.
By: hurricaneben, 11:52 PM GMT on August 03, 2012
A lot has happened in the past 24 hours. Tropical Storm Ernesto has moved into the Caribbean Sea and is forecast to strengthen but that's not the only game in town. A tropical wave, which emerged off Africa in the past couple of days, has swiftly developed and is now rather close to TD status. Is it a threat to land? We'll get to that but first let's get a grip on Tropical Storm Ernesto and its future.
Tropical Storm Ernesto struck the Windward Islands earlier today with very heavy rainfall and gusty winds but no major damage. It hasn't strengthened much since last update, actually it still only has winds of 50 MPH, but strengthening is forecast and could start to pick up as soon as tomorrow morning. It could become a hurricane by Sunday as it passes just to the south of Jamaica so residents there still need to keep an eye on it in case trends shift further north but at this time Jamaica will likely avoid a direct hit. But the Yucatan may be in for a hit sometime next week as a category one/two hurricane and then enter...the Gulf Of Mexico? Yeah...it's still several days out but Ernesto is definitely one to watch.
Invest 90L could become a TD as early as tonight but since dry air may come into play by Sunday, I don't see this getting very strong...probably will make it to TS Status (Florence) but not much more than that. As far as models go, this is no immediate threat to land so of course that makes Ernesto the biggest story in the next several days. It has a 70% chance of TC formation according to the NHC.
Invest 91L...isn't much of an area of interest. It is forecast to bring a decent amount of heavy rainfall to parts of the Florida Peninsula but that's about it. Models do take it into the Gulf Of Mexico and that's where development is a strong possibility, so the GOM may be an active topic next week. We could possibly see a TD form, not very likely, but possible. The NHC gives this a 20% chance of TC formation by Sunday evening.
Updated: 12:07 AM GMT on August 04, 2012
By: hurricaneben, 10:31 PM GMT on August 02, 2012
After a major struggle in organization for about 12-24 hours after its formation, Tropical Depression Five finally got its act together and strengthened into Tropical Storm Ernesto. It's still not looking all that great, but it's getting there and the RECON found tropical storm force winds with it. It is packing winds of 50 MPH but due to dry air and shear near it, it is not expected to additionally strengthen all that much in the next day or two as it strikes some of the Lesser Antilles as a mid range tropical storm. Residents there are under TS Warnings, so you should already be prepared for tropical storm conditions. But the real concern comes after it enters the Caribbean Sea on Saturday where there is an area of much higher SST's. There it should start to strengthen more steadily and could be a hurricane south of Jamaica by Saturday so that's where we should really be watching Ernesto very closely. There is no immediate threat to the Lower 48, but conditions favor that it will eventually turn into the Gulf Of Mexico by next week and that's when residents along the Gulf Coast should be paying more attention...of course, where in the Gulf Of Mexico is not very clear at this time. I'll have an update tomorrow on Tropical Storm Ernesto.
By: hurricaneben, 12:48 AM GMT on August 02, 2012
We now officially have the fifth tropical depression of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season and it's a growing concern for interests all over the Caribbean. It's still packing winds of just 35 MPH but strengthening is anticipated and this is expected to become a tropical storm by late tonight as it makes its way gradually toward the Lesser Antilles. By Friday, it should make impact in these islands possibly as a strong tropical storm so residents there should pay close attention and make preparations for likely tropical storm conditions by that time frame but not treat it like it's a major hurricane. Tropical storm watches are in effect for these islands. But by Sunday or Monday, this could come near Jamaica as a hurricane and residents there will definitely want to review their preparations in the next few days. Beyond Jamaica, it is highly unclear where it will go so for now we'll just keep our eyes on the eastern parts of the Caribbean.
By: hurricaneben, 8:01 PM GMT on August 01, 2012
Invest 99L has been organizing steadily over the past 24 to 36 hours and now is fairly close to becoming the fifth tropical depression of the season. Further development is expected and I do think a TD/TS forming from this system is very likely in the short-term, maybe in the next 12 hours. Portions of the Leeward Islands and Lesser Antilles will likely see some heavy rainfall and windy conditions regardless of TC formation. Further on, Jamaica and surrounding island nations may be affected but now the Lesser Antilles/Leeward Islands are first to see any impacts. There is the very small chance that a ridge could pick it up and make it head north of the islands towards The Bahamas and Florida which would push it into more unfavorable upper-level winds but I don't see that happening. Basically if you live anywhere in the Caribbean (especially eastern), just be wary of this developing system. There is no short term threat to the U.S. (continental) at this time.
The NHC gives this a 70% (high) chance of TC formation by Friday afternoon.
Update: TD#5 Forms
An update that Tropical Depression Five has formed as of 5 PM EDT. Portions of Lesser Antilles/Leeward Islands are under tropical storm watches. Rest of Caribbean (especially Jamaica, SE Cuba, south tip of Haiti) should consider making preparations as they could get the brunt in the next 3-6 days. I'll have a full update tonight or tomorrow.
Updated: 9:09 PM GMT on August 01, 2012
Will devote this hurricane season to provide up-to-the-minute, basic information when a tropical system is threatening land. Both basins included.