Storm Heading West-Northwest
During the course of the past 24 hours, especially the last 6 to 12 hours, the barometer at GWC has been falling. Humidity has also been on the rise, and there has been some breezy conditions at times here in South Plainfield, NJ. Believe it or not, all of this is due to Hermine, which has been finally making that anticipated westward move during the day on Monday.
Prior to taking a trip out to Waterfront Park in South Amboy this morning, the barometric pressure at GWC was at 30.21 inches (8:21 AM EDT). Since then, the barometer has dropped 0.23 inches to 29.98 inches of Hg. Pressure is still quite high. Weak Tropical Depressions usually have minimum central pressures of 29.80 or 29.83 inches of Hg.
Meanwhile, the humidity on Sunday had dropped significantly as the storm pulled further and further to the east. On Sunday afternoon, the humidity dipped to 40 percent for a dew point of 53. Since that time, the moisture has been on the rise, climbing to 58 percent for a dew point of 64. Temperature reached a high of 84 degrees late Monday afternoon.
Over the past few hours, the satellite imagery has shown Hermine making a more westward move. In addition, the more thicker band of clouds are pinwheeling westward across Long Island toward New York City and the Jersey Shore. More cirrus and cirrocumulus clouds have developed overhead of GWC during the course of the afternoon. Nevertheless, skies remained sunny at sunset.
The Coastal Flood Warning that existed along the Jersey Shore on Monday has been discontinued, but there are still areas in coastal Monmouth and Ocean counties that are dealing with heavy surf and rip currents. Tropical Storm Warnings remain in effect for the coastal waters offshore. Currently, Post-Tropical Cyclone Hermine is inching closer to the Eastern tip of Long Island.
Located some 150 miles Southeast of the Eastern tip of Long Island, Hermine has also picked up some forward speed as it moves to the West-Northwest at 9 miles per hour. Maximum sustained winds remain at 70 miles per hour with gusts up to 85 miles per hour. Barometric pressure remains steady at 997 millibars, or 29.44 inches of Hg. Tropical storm force winds continue to extend some 230 miles from the center. Weakening is forecast to begin tonight.
Although sea surface temperatures off the Jersey Shore and Long Island have been above normal this summer, they remain in the mid to upper 70s, which is still below the threshold for supporting tropical development. Water temperatures need to be at least 80 degrees or higher to support tropical storm or hurricane formation and growth. Furthermore, since Hermine has been basically sitting in the same general location for the past several days, upwelling has taken place, which brings cooler water to the surface.
The National Hurricane Center’s intensity forecast calls for Hermine to start gradually weakening over the next 12 hours, and fall below tropical storm strength between 48 and 72 hours before dissipating in four days. The NHC’s forecast track is calling for Hermine to continue its westward jog for the next 36 hours or so before turning to the Northeast and accelerating on Wednesday.
Tropical Storm Warnings Discontinued for the Garden State
Hermine continued to move further to the east on Sunday and while the surf along New Jersey beaches remained treacherous, the more significant threat of tropical storm force winds and rain diminished. The Tropical Storm Warning for the Jersey Shore was discontinued on Sunday night, but a Coastal Flood Warning remained in effect.
On Sunday afternoon, GWC and Hurricaneville took another trip down to South Amboy’s Waterfront Park along Raritan Bay to check conditions there. We arrived there just after low tide and the easterly fetch wasn’t as significant as it was in the morning or on Saturday. Winds had also eased up somewhat. Skies were sunny with the exception of cirrus clouds overhead and cirrocumulus clouds to the south and east.
During the evening and overnight hours, Post-Tropical Cyclone Hermine strengthened somewhat with shower and thunderstorm activity increasing. The storm also moved a little bit more to the west on radar. These thunderstorms were far away from the Jersey Shore though. Nevertheless, there are more clouds over GWC in South Plainfield on this Labor Day morning.
Cirrus clouds could be seen to the north and west of GWC while altostratus clouds developed to the south and east. The radar imagery courtesy of the Weather Channel showed some clouds spreading over the Garden State while bands of showers and storms are still holding together further to the east over the open waters of the Atlantic and to the north and west to the center of circulation.
Looking at the latest with Hermine, the storm is currently located some 295 miles to the Southeast of the Eastern tip of Long Island. Maximum sustained winds remain at 70 miles per hour with gusts in upwards of 85 miles per hour. Minimum central pressure has dropped slightly to 997 millibars, or about 29.44 inches of Hg (Mercury). Tropical storm force winds extend some 230 miles from the center as Hermine grew in size over the past 24 hours.
Hermine is expected to continue to meander slowly off the Mid-Atlantic coast for the next couple days. The latest forecast track from the National Hurricane Center indicates that the storm will make its closest approach to the Jersey Shore on Tuesday before turning more northward and northeastward on Wednesday and heading out to the vicinity of the Canadian Maritimes on Thursday and Friday. Hermine will begin to gradually weaken over the next 24 hours, and is forecast to dissipate in five days.
Change in Storm Path Leaves Only Coastal Areas With Any Impacts
This morning, Greg’s Weather Center and Hurricaneville took a trip out to several locations along the Northern portion of the Jersey Shore. From South Amboy and Laurence Harbor in Middlesex County to Cliffwood Beach down to Sandy Hook in Monmouth County, we checked both the weather and surf conditions from Post-Tropical Cyclone Hermine offshore.
Prior to leaving though, we noticed that the barometric pressure was running quite high at 30.19 inches of Hg (Mercury), and still rising. With such high pressure, one could only surmise that good weather was on tap. News reports indicated that Hermine had gone further east than expected, which took much of the clouds, wind, and waves away from the shoreline.
Sky conditions at all the locations we visited on this Sunday morning where mostly sunny with some cirrocumulus clouds. It was hard to believe that a powerful storm was just a few hundred miles offshore. Only when we got down to Keyport’s Waterfront Park did we begin to notice that the winds had picked up a bit. Further down the Bayshore in Union Beach, the water levels increased and the wave action picked up a bit.
Spray and some sea water was coming over the barrier at Union Beach to create some overwash on the walkway near Fireman’s Park. Talking to some of the people there, we learned that one of the creeks was beginning to fill up from the increased surf and wakes piling up. Waves crashed along the pier at Bayshore Waterfront Park in Port Monmouth as well. The most significant wave action would be at Sandy Hook, where nobody was allowed to go in the water.
The waves were large, numerous, and frequent, which turned the ocean into a more foamy grey color. Winds were actually lighter at Sandy Hook, but the surf was still rough. Clouds were also on the increase with more cirrocumulus clouds along with some small cumulus clouds. There are some photos and video from some of the heavy surf along the coast during our trip on the GWC and Hurricaneville Facebook page and Twitter feed.
Returning to GWC in South Plainfield, we noticed that the light winds returned, but the barometric pressure was still high at 30.20 inches of Hg, and the humidity levels were considerably lower. The dew point was only in the mid 50s. So, the combination of rising pressure and falling humidity only signified that the storm was pulling away from New Jersey. Nevertheless, the post-tropical cyclone is expected to make a turn back toward the coast, but it won’t get as close as previously forecast.
The Jersey Shore will be were most if not all of the action from this storm will be. The main threat will be the coastal flooding from the significant wave action and heavy surf, especially during high tide on Sunday night and Monday morning. Tides are expected to between 3 and 5 feet above normal from Sandy Hook to Cape May. There will be some winds up to tropical storm force along with a little bit of rain according to Meteorologist Joe Cioffi.
Currently, Post-Tropical Storm Hermine remains offshore about 300 miles to the South-Southeast of the Eastern tip of Long Island, or about 325 miles to the East-Southeast of Ocean City, Maryland. The storm is now moving slowly to the East-Northeast at 6 miles per hour. Maximum sustained winds have now increased again to 70 miles per hour with gusts up to 85 miles per hour. Minimum central pressure with Hermine has risen slightly to 999 millibars, or 29.50 inches of Hg (Mercury).
A Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect from Cape Charles Light, Virginia on the southern tip of the Delmarva Peninsula to just west of Watch Hill, Rhode Island including Delaware Bay. A Tropical Storm Watch continues to be in effect from Watch Hill, Rhode Island eastward to Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts including Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket. Know your watches and warnings. Coastal residents in these warned areas should be prepared for dangerous storm surge.
As mentioned earlier in this post, Hermine tracked further to the east so everything has shifted over somewhat in terms of the forecast track. Hermine is expected to move more to the north over the next 24 to 36 hours, and then turn towards the east again. However, Hermine is still expected to be several hundred miles off the coast of Eastern Long Island and Southern New England on Wednesday morning. Hermine’s strength during the next five days is expected to peak at 75 miles per hour within the next 36 to 48 hours.
Models Having Tough Time With Storm Now That It Is Non-Tropical
Greg’s Weather Center and Hurricaneville continue to watch what is now Non-Tropical Cyclone Hermine as it meanders off the Mid-Atlantic coast less than 250 miles from Atlantic City, New Jersey. All of the coastal counties in New Jersey remain under a Tropical Storm Warning and could still see significant coastal flooding from this storm.
Currently, Post-Tropical Storm Hermine is located some 240 miles to the East-Southeast of Ocean City, Maryland, or about 275 miles East of Norfolk, Virginia so the center of circulation is still to the south of New Jersey. The storm is still moving pretty good to the East-Northeast at 13 miles per hour, but expect that motion to slow down during the day on Sunday as it begins to loop back toward the coast. Maximum sustained winds have decreased slightly to 65 miles per hour with gusts over hurricane force. Pressure is at 998 millibars or 29.47 inches of Hg.
A Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect for the East Coast of the United States from Watch Hill, Rhode Island to Ocracoke Inlet in North Carolina including Chesapeake Bay from Drum Point southward and also Delaware Bay. A Tropical Storm Watch also remains in effect from east of Watch Hill, Rhode Island to Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts including Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Middlesex County, New Jersey, the home of GWC and Hurricaneville is under a Tropical Storm Warning.
There has been a lot of variability or differences in the forecast model tracks for Hermine. Much of that can be attributed to the fact that Hermine is now a non-tropical system. You may wonder what does that mean. Well, what it means is that the storm is now a cold core system with cold air at the center of the low. Cold core lows are basically what we all see during the fall and winter months, i.e. Coastal lows or Nor’easters.
If you recall earlier last weekend and earlier this week, the models struggled with the track and intensity of what eventually became Hermine because they tend to have problems with developing systems. They also have similar issues with storms that transition from tropical to non-tropical systems. So, in a nutshell, the models are all over the place when it comes to Hermine’s track , and what type of storm it will be over the next few days.
One good thing that has happened with Hermine during the late afternoon and evening hours is that the storm went a little further to the east than expected, and that is good news for those further inland. Hermine is expected to loop back to the west, but because it jogged a bit more to the east, it is unlikely at this point that the storm will come ashore along the Jersey coast. However, let’s not let our guard down, and be prepared for anything since again the models are struggling with this system.
According to Meteorologist Joe Cioffi, the coastal areas are still going to receive the brunt of the impacts from the storm. Most significant impact will be coastal flooding. The National Weather Service Office in Mount Holly indicates that anywhere in New Jersey east of the Garden State Parkway will see significant coastal flooding from a storm surge anywhere from 3 to 5 feet above normal. In addition, as the storm makes its closest approach to New Jersey on Sunday evening into Labor Day morning there will be an increase in rain and wind.
Rainfall amounts along the coast will be anywhere between one to two inches east of the I-95 corridor with winds increasing to tropical storm force by Sunday afternoon. Some isolated areas could see as much as 2 to 3 inches according to the NWS. The greatest threat for all of this seems to be more confined to the further south that you go along the Jersey Shore toward Atlantic City and Cape May into Delaware. However, we could see tropical storm force winds as far north as coastal areas in Middlesex County such as South Amboy and Old Bridge.
On Saturday, I was out at South Amboy’s Waterfront Park along Raritan Bay, and there was a very good easterly to northeasterly fetch off the ocean. Water levels were higher than usual, and it wasn’t even high tide yet. Winds were much stronger too. Here at GWC in South Plainfield, there was more of a breeze, but not as significant as it was near the water in South Amboy. Again all of this is due to the fact that Hermine is a good ways from the coast right now.
Remember, Hermine is still a very large and vast system with tropical storm force winds extending some 205 miles from the center. The storm’s size is more along the lines of Hurricane Irene (2011) as supposed to Hurricane Sandy (2012). Like Irene and Sandy, the large circulation of Hermine will push a good deal of water toward the coast and bring significant wind and rain to areas far away from the center.
All residents along the coast from the Outer Banks of North Carolina to Cape Cod, Massachusetts need to pay close attention to the whereabouts of this system since the models are giving different possibilities with this system. Do not let your guard down. The most recent forecast discussion from the National Hurricane Center did indicate that Hermine could re-intensify to have hurricane force winds sustained over the next 24 to 48 hours.
Warnings Extended to New Jersey, New York City, Long Island, Long Island Sound, and parts of Rhode Island
The Garden State including Middlesex County and GWC here in South Plainfield are now in the crosshairs of Tropical Storm Hermine, which has now become post-tropical. Tropical Storm Warnings have now been extended to the Jersey Shore including Sandy Hook, Long Island to New York City, and west of Watch Hill, Rhode Island including the South Shore of Connecticut.
A Tropical Storm Watch is now in effect from east of Watch Hill to Sagamore Beach in Rhode Island, Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket in Massachusetts. Make sure that you know your watches and warnings. Presently, Hermine is located 35 miles to the East-Southeast of Duck, North Carolina, or 80 miles to the Southeast of Norfolk, Virginia.
Post-Tropical Cyclone Hermine is moving to the East-Northeast at 15 miles per hour, but that is expected to change as the storm is expected to slow down. Maximum sustained winds have increased to 65 miles per hour with gusts up to 75 miles per hour. Minimum central pressure in Hermine is at 995 millibars, or 29.38 inches of Hg. Hermine is a vast system now with tropical storm force winds extending some 205 miles from the center of circulation.
A Dangerous Storm Surge event is possible along the coastline from Virginia to New Jersey. The reason for that is what had been mentioned before about Hermine slowing down. This could be a prolonged storm surge or coastal flooding event that is also coinciding with astronomical high tide because of the full moon. Moral of the story is that we could be seeing a situation very similar to the Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962 where the storm lingers offshore during several high tide cycles, which would cause significant damage to many coastal areas.
Looking at the satellite imagery in Joe Cioffi’s live Facebook broadcast this morning, it was no surprise that Hermine was classified as post-tropical. The storm’s structure had taken on a more non-tropical or extratropical cyclone look with the classic comma shaped signature. Despite the change in classification of the storm, it still remains a very potent and dangerous system. In addition, the changeover from a tropical to non-tropical cyclone also results in energy transfer, which in turn invigorates the storm and intensifies it.
The latest forecast discussion from the National Hurricane Center indicates that Hermine will actually strengthen some more with maximum sustained winds increasing to minimal hurricane force at 75 miles per hour within 36 hours, and remain at that strength for another day and a half before weakening a little. Even at four days, winds are expected to be at 70 miles per hour, and 60 miles per hour at the end of the five day forecast period.
Taking a gander at the forecast track, the storm is expected to remain offshore according to the NHC’s consensus guidance. However, coastal New Jersey, New York City, Long Island, Southern Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts are in the Cone of Uncertainty right now. The storm is expected to linger off the coastline of New England and the Mid-Atlantic through Thursday morning. The reason for this is not only because of Hermine’s interaction with an upper level shortwave, but also because of ridges of high pressure to the north and to the west preventing it from going out to sea.
All coastal residents in the Mid-Atlantic and New England need to make final preparations for the storm and be prepared to evacuate if necessary. This is a very serious and dangerous situation developing for the Northeast. So, please follow your local news, radio, and favorite weather app for the latest information on Hermine.
Anywhere from North Carolina to Virginia Border to Bridgeport, Connecticut Under Threat from Possible Surge
The story of now Tropical Storm Hermine is beginning to take another twist, and that twist could affect people in the Mid-Atlantic States including New Jersey, New York, Long Island, and Connecticut. The latest forecast track for Hermine shows that the storm could linger off the Mid-Atlantic coast from the Delmarva Peninsula to the Central Jersey coast through Wednesday morning.
During that time of extended presence, Hermine will be in the Gulf Stream, and could have hurricane force winds as late as Monday morning. The bottom line is that it is very important that all coastal residents from the Outer Banks of North Carolina up to Long Island and Connecticut should be getting ready to make the necessary preparations for a prolonged surf and surge event that could in the very least cause a good deal of beach erosion.
As of the 2:00 PM EDT Advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Hermine was located approximately 30 miles North-Northwest of Savannah, Georgia or 80 miles to the West-Southwest of Charleston, South Carolina. The storm is moving to the Northeast at 18 miles per hour. Maximum sustained winds are currently at 50 miles per hour with gusts up to 65 miles per hour. Minimum central pressure is up to 993 millibars or 29.32 inches of Hg (Mercury).
Looking at the satellite imagery of Hermine, you can see that the storm covers a fairly vast area. Right now tropical storm force winds extend some 175 miles from the center of circulation. An example of the size and coverage of the storm is the fact that locations such as Hilton Head Island in South Carolina and St. Simon’s Island in Georgia are feeling winds of minimal tropical storm force with gusts in upwards up 55 to 60 miles per hour.
Besides the possibility of prolonged surge, another major concern will be the rainfall. With the storm slowing down over the next several days, rainfall amounts will be on the increase. The reason for that is because the slower the storm moves, the longer the tropical moisture from it will stay in the same general locations. The result will be rainfall amounts between 5 to 10 inches with isolated amounts of 15 inches in Southeastern states such as Georgia and South Carolina into the Mid-Atlantic states such as Virginia.
Reading the most recent forecast discussion from the National Hurricane Center, the reason for the forecast track having Hermine slowing down is because the storm is expected to interact with a potent upper level shortwave feature off the Mid-Atlantic coast. Not only will this cause the storm to slow down to a near stop, but it will invigorate the system, which will cause it to re-intensify somewhat to have winds of hurricane force by Monday morning.
At this moment, there are Tropical Storm Warnings in effect from Nassau Sound to Fenwick Island, Pamlico and Albermarle Sound, Chesapeake Bay from Drum Point southward, Tidal Potomac to Cobb Island eastward. A Tropical Storm Watch is now in effect for Fenwick Island west of Watch Hill and Southern Delaware Bay. Interests in the Mid-Atlantic from the Delmarva Penninsula into New Jersey, New York, Long Island, and Connecticut should pay close attention to developments with this storm.
First Hurricane to Make Landfall in Sunshine State in 11 Years; New Jersey and Mid-Atlantic Under Tropical Storm Watch
After much struggle over the course of the past 10 days or so, what had been Invest 99L finally got itself going and not only became a depression, but eventually emerged as the eighth named storm of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season, and the season’s fourth hurricane. Hermine came ashore early this morning in Florida near St. Mark’s in the Big Bend region of the Sunshine State.
Hermine, which has since weakened to a tropical storm, became the first hurricane since Hurricane Wilma in October 2005 to make landfall in the Sunshine State. The storm broke a period of incredible luck for a state that is often affected by tropical storms and hurricanes. The storm isn’t done yet either. While it has taken a hit, Hermine again is still a tropical storm, and is expected to move out over water again soon.
The threat from the tropical storm has now extended northward with even the home state of Greg’s Weather Center under a Tropical Storm Watch. New Jersey as well as the rest of the Mid-Atlantic could feel the effects from the storm as early as late Saturday night, and they could linger into Labor Day. So, if you have any plans to head to the beach, you might want to keep your eyes peeled to various weather media outlets or any weather app on your smartphone to keep you apprised of the situation.
Currently, Tropical Storm Hermine is located some 35 miles Northeast of Valdosta, Georgia. The system is moving at a somewhat brisk pace to the North-Northeast at 14 miles per hour. Again the storm has weakened with maximum sustained winds decreasing to 60 miles per hour and wind gusts dropping to only 85 miles per hour, but these winds can still pack a punch. Minimum central pressure with the storm has risen to 987 millibars, or 29.21 inches of Hg (Mercury).
The storm has grown to a decent size with tropical storm force winds extending some 175 miles from the center. As of 8:00 AM, a wind gust from Hermine of 46 miles per hour was reported as far away as Brunswick, Georgia and St. Augustine, Florida a good deal away from the center. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Englewood, Florida to the Ochlockonee River, Flagler/Volusia County line on the Florida/Georgia border to Duck in North Carolina including Pamlico and Albermarle Sounds.
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for North of Duck in North Carolina to Sandy Hook here in New Jersey, Chesapeake Bay from Smith Point southward, and Southern Delaware Bay. Interests in the Northeast should closely monitor developments with Tropical Storm Hermine. The storm’s intensity forecast indicates that Hermine will continue to weaken with time since it will be over land. Hermine will remain tropical over the next 48 hours before transitioning to a post-tropical storm on Sunday.
The forecast track of Hermine shows that the storm will be hugging the coast from Georgia into South Carolina and North Carolina before emerging over the water again near the North Carolina/Virginia border on Saturday evening. The storm will be several hundred miles southeast of the Jersey Shore on Monday morning, and could actually linger offshore for much of Sunday and Monday.
Tropical Storm Warnings in Effect for Western and Central Azores
There are only two named storms now in the Atlantic as of noon time EDT on Thursday. Once of those storms is Hurricane Gaston, which was lost a good deal of its punch, but is still a threat for the Azores island chain in the Northeastern Atlantic. Tropical Storm Warnings are now in effect for the Western and Central Azores.
As of the 11:00 AM Advisory from the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, the eye of Gaston was located some 650 miles to the West of Faial Island in the Central Azores, or about 735 miles to the West of Lajes Air Base in the Azores. Maximum sustained winds are down to 85 miles per hour, which makes Gaston a strong Category One Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.
Wind gusts are in excess of 105 miles per hour while the minimum central pressure is up to 980 millibars, or 28.94 inches of Hg (Mercury). Gaston is a vast system with hurricane force winds extending some 80 miles from the eye while tropical storm force winds reach out about 185 miles from the center. Gaston is forecast to weaken more with time, and reach the Azores as a tropical storm on Friday.
The effects that residents of the Azores will need to worry about from Gaston include: Wind, Rain, and Surf. Tropical storm force winds are expected in the Western Azores during the day on Friday, and in the Central Azores on Friday night. The hurricane is expected to produce anywhere from one to three inches of rain, particularly in the Western Azores.
Swells from Gaston are also expected to impact the island chain in the form of dangerous surf and rip currents. Gaston is expected to be downgraded to a tropical storm within 24 hours, and be post-tropical within 48 hours before dissipating in three days. The hurricane should be out of the Azores island chain completely by sometime on Saturday.
Atlantic Continues to Be Busy As Statistical Peak of Season Approaches
The calendar has turned from August to September, and we are now at the start of Meteorological Fall in the Northern Hemisphere. The beginning of September also means the peak of hurricane season in the Atlantic.
As a matter of fact, the statistical peak of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season is less than ten days away (September 10th). Lots of things going on in the tropics with two active systems and another that just dissipated.
There is also another area of disturbed weather that is being watched in the Eastern Atlantic. To date, there have been 9 depressions, 8 named storms, 3 hurricanes, and one major hurricane in the Atlantic this season. Forecasts are still calling for the 2016 season to be the most active since 2012.
Let’s take a closer look around the tropics this morning:
Gulf of Mexico
The main attraction in this region right now is Tropical Storm Hermine, which was classified as a named system late Thursday morning, and has a chance to become a hurricane although the window is closing. Right now, the storm is located some 250 miles to the South-Southwest from Appalachicola, Florida, or approximately 275 miles to the West-Southwest of Tampa, Florida.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to 60 miles per hour with gusts up to 70 miles per hour. Minimum central pressure is down to 996 millibars, or 29.42 inches of Hg. A Hurricane Warning is in effect from Suwanee River to Mexico Beach while a Hurricane Watch is in effect from Anclote River to Suwannee River. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from Anclote River to Suwannee River, West of Mexico Beach to Destin, and from Marineland to South Santee River.
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect from North of South Santee River to Surf City. In addition, interests along the east coast from North Carolina on up should closely monitor developments with this system. The rest of the Gulf is mostly clear with exception to some clouds coming off Eastern Mexico into the Western Gulf. Water vapor imagery shows nothing really affecting Hermine in terms of dry air.
Nothing much really happening here in this region this morning. There are some stray clouds over Western Cuba from the outer bands of Hermine, but nothing too serious. There are some clouds, showers, and storms approaching the Southern Windward Islands, but there is no mention about that from the NHC. No development is expected over the next 24 hours.
Looking farther out into the Atlantic, there is a tropical wave in the Eastern Atlantic located some 700 miles to the West of the Cabo Verde Islands. The wave is showing limited shower activity and it is in an area where there is a lot of dry air. The wave will be traversing this area for the next several days so no development is expected until early next week. No development is expected for the next 48 hours.
Meanwhile, in the Northeastern Atlantic, residents of the Azores are bracing for Hurricane Gaston, which was the season’s first major hurricane with 120 mile per hour winds, but has since weakened to a strong Category One storm on the Saffir-Simpson Scale with 85 mile per hour winds. A Tropical Storm Warning is now in effect for Flores and Corvo in the Western Azores while a Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Faial, Pico, Graciosa, San Jorge, and Terceira in the Central Azores. Additional weakening is expected with this system.
This is the best time of year to watch the African continent for activity. Many of the Classic Cape Verde storms that develop during the course of every season first emerge as thunderstorm complexes in the Sub-Saharan or Sahel region of Africa. Right now, there is a pretty good line of showers and storms extending from Niger and Nigeria in the east to the eastern portion of Burkina Faso.
Depression Expected to Become Tropical Storm on Wednesday
The National Hurricane Center continues to monitor developments with Tropical Depression Nine, which is poised to strengthen, but hasn’t done so yet. A Hurricane Watch has been issued for the Florida West Coast from Anclote River to Indian Pass while a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Anclote River to the Walton/Bay County Line. A Tropical Storm Watch is now in effect from Altamaha Sound in Georgia to Marineland, Florida as of 10:00 AM CDT.
As of the latest advisory from the NHC, Tropical Depression Nine was located approximately 395 miles to the South-Southwest of Apalachichola, Florida, or about 415 miles to the West-Southwest of Tampa, Florida. The depression is just about stationary at the moment, but is expected to begin moving again. Maximum sustained winds remain at 35 miles per hour, but further strengthening is expected, and TD #9 could become a tropical storm later on Wednesday.
Wind gusts are still at 45 miles per hour, but the pressure has dropped to 1001 millibars, or 29.56 inches of Hg. A couple days ago, it was still fairly high at 1009 millibars. So, the system seems to be getting its act together again. There are indications that the depression could eventually strengthen into a hurricane prior to landfall somewhere along the Florida Gulf Coast.
The latest forecast discussion from the NHC indicates that the depression is beginning to look more organized, and firing up very deep convection. The system is also moving into an environment that has moderate shear, and of course very warm water in the Gulf of Mexico, which should help it strengthen over the next day and a half. The intensity forecast indicates that the depression should be a very strong tropical storm with wind close to 65 miles per hour before making landfall.
As far as the forecast track goes, the storm is on a forecast trajectory that should take it over land somewhere in the Big Bend area of Florida by Thursday evening. Then, the track continues across the northern portion of Florida, and into Southern Georgia before it re-emerges into the water off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina by late Friday morning.
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