Wind shear and dry air (kryptonite to a tropical system) continue to hamper the strengthening of Tropical Depression 9 into Tropical Storm Hermine but the official forecast is for that to happen possibly as early as tonight. Satellite imagery continues to show a poorly defined circulation, but that should improve over the next 12 hours.
Water temperatures remain very favorable for development, so once TD 9 wins the dry air/wind shear battle, strengthening should commence in earnest.
The official track from the National Hurricane Center has not wavered, and still places a tropical storm near the Big Bend region of Northwest Florida sometime during the day on Thursday.
Even though the storm remains below hurricane strength, wind damage and storm surge could cause damage especially just south of the center of landfall. Rainfall totals of more than a foot could lead to flooding, especially just north of Tampa.
Flooding inland in Florida as well as into extreme South & Southeast Georgia will occur as well, mainly Thursday into early Friday.
While all this activity is going on here in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico a rare event is occurring near Hawaii. A pair of Hurricanes is poised for a narrow miss of the Big Island of Hawaii. Never before has the Big Island taken a direct hit from a hurricane. The good news is that Madeline should slip just south and Lester just north of the Big Island as they continue moving westward across the Pacific. For now at least it looks like the Islands of Hawaii will dodge two bullets in a row.
Tropical Depression Nine is among three disturbances in the Atlantic Basin that include Tropical Depression Eight, and Hurricane Gaston. Hurricane Gaston now a Category Two storm with winds of 110 mph has weakened a bit today, and will continue it’s lonely trek across the open waters of the Atlantic. Tropical Depression Eight will brush the Outer Banks of North Carolina and may never reach tropical storm strength until it begins to head out to sea.
Tropical Depression Nine on the other hand has a very good chance of developing into a tropical storm over the Gulf of Mexico, and will more than likely become Hermine before TD Eight has a chance to. Right now the low is located over 300 miles SSW of Tampa. Whether it becomes a tropical storm or not there will be plenty of rain and wind on tap for the Florida Gulf Coast beginning later this week. The official track places the storm near the Big Bend area of Florida sometime on Thursday.
Winds will start to pick on Wednesday with the peak winds arriving Thursday during the morning and afternoon.
The official forecast is for winds of 65 mph as the storm makes landfall north of Tampa. Not hurricane strength, but close.
Rain totals could be substantial as well with some areas seeing in excess of 6-7″.
Therefore if you have travel plans that take you to north or central Florida later in the week, be sure to closely monitor the system as it strengthens in the Gulf of Mexico.
After a very quiet start to the Atlantic Hurricane Season we are finally seeing the action heat up! As of right now we have 3 disturbances: Tropical Storm Gaston, Invest 99L and the remnants of Fiona.
Gaston quickly went from being declared a Tropical Depression Monday evening at 5pm to a Tropical Storm by 11 pm.
As of 2 pm this afternoon Gaston is nearing hurricane strength with winds of 65 mph, and the official forecast calls for the storm to reach hurricane strength later this evening. Maximum sustained winds of 100 mph (Cat. 2) are forecast by Thursday evening before gradual weakening takes place into the weekend. The good news with this storm is that the track will keep it forever over the open waters of the Central Atlantic.
Then there is Invest 99L which may or may not pose a threat to Florida and the Southeast later this weekend and into early next week.
Earlier today the hurricane hunters flew a mission through the disturbance and found a poorly defined and elongated circulation. Conditions over the next few days won’t be very favorable for development mainly due to the presence of dry air in it’s path. If the storm survives the passage through Hispaniola then conditions will become more favorable for development as it nears the Bahamas. That would be around Friday and that’s when things could get very interesting. The latest spaghetti plot shows that most of the models take the storm in the direction of the Bahamas and then Florida. How much is left of the storm, and therefore it’s strength is anyone’s guess at this time.
Invest 99L definitely bares watching over then next several days!
Yes that’s right we have below normal temperatures in the forecast for this week, but what about next? The 6-10 day forecast indicates some relief for areas to our west but here in north Georgia it appears that we will see temperatures at or near normal.
So don’t get too excited about the prospects of August all of a sudden becoming cooler than normal here is north Georgia. Rainfall could be a different story. It looks like the unsettled, rainy pattern developing this week could continue into next week as well bringing much needed rain to our area.
Above normal rainfall would be a beautiful thing since much of the central and northern part of the state is either in severe to extreme drought.