The meteorological peak of hurricane season is Sept. 10, and it sure looks like it in the Atlantic basin.
The National Hurricane Center is tracking seven systems, with the newest one added at the 8 a.m. update. Two of them are tropical storms, and one is poised to strike Bermuda.
The closest system to Florida is an area of low pressure a couple of hundred miles northeast of the Central Bahamas. Forecasters expect the system to cross the Bahamas and Florida over the weekend before re-emerging in the Gulf of Mexico, but they only give it a 30% chance of developing into anything stronger during that time.
The newest system, another low pressure area, popped up in the Gulf on Thursday morning. The hurricane center said it could move west and south for the next few days without much chance of development — 10% in the next two days and 20% in the next five.
Another trough of low pressure hovering near the east coast lost all its chances of forming overnight, according to the hurricane center. The system clinging to the coast of North Carolina has a flat 0% chance of strengthening anytime, but it’s expected to move inland Thursday afternoon and dump some rain on the state.
Meanwhile, forecasters have ratcheted up the chances of formation for the tropical wave that’s been moving off the coast of Africa this week. Now it has a 90% chance of turning into a tropical depression this weekend as it moves west. Chances of formation in the next two days are medium at 60%.
The final wave (for now) had yet to emerge from Africa’s coast Thursday morning. But when it does, the hurricane center will find favorable conditions for growth and could form a tropical depression early next week. They gave it a 40% chance of formation in the next five days.
The next two storm names are Sally and Teddy. Once the hurricane center hits the final name, Wilfred, storms will be named after Greek letters.
And then there are the tropical storms.
Tropical Storms Paulette and Rene were in the center of the Atlantic ocean, far from most land, and were forecast to strengthen into Category 1 hurricanes in the next few days.
As of 5 am. Thursday, Paulette was showing signs of weakening but was expected to re-strengthen during the weekend, with the storm being at hurricane level strength by the time it nears Bermuda early Monday.
Paulette was moving toward the west-northwest near 10 mph with maximum sustained winds near 60 mph with higher gusts. The tropical storm was about 935 miles east-northeast of the Northern Leeward Islands and about 1,250 miles southeast of Bermuda. Its tropical-storm force winds are extending up to 205 miles from the center.
Forecasters say those with interests in Bermuda should continue monitoring the storm’s progress. Swells caused by Paulette are also forecast to reach portions of the Leeward Islands Thursday night and Friday and will spread westward to portions of the Greater Antilles, Bahamas and Bermuda into the weekend. These swells will likely cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions, according to the hurricane center.
Tropical Storm Rene continued to move west-northwestward across the Atlantic near 10 mph and was about 730 miles west-northwest of the Cabo Verde Islands. The storm’s maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph with higher gusts, according to the hurricane center.
Rene’s forecast shows it briefly could become a Category 1 hurricane possibly by Saturday, then weakening again.
Source: Miami Herald