Strengthens Some On Thursday; Could Become Hurricane On Friday
The Tropical Atlantic continues to heat up with activity as we continue toward the statistical peak of the season. The remnants of Tropical Depression Seven moved through Central America, and is now situated in the extreme southern portion of the Gulf of Mexico where it could become a tropical storm or depression over the next 48 hours.
Meanwhile, another disturbance grew into the seventh named storm of the season as Tropical Storm Gordon first emerged as a tropical depression just under 600 miles to the East-Southeast of Bermuda on Wednesday afternoon. Within twelve hours, Gordon was born and gradually strengthened during the day to the point where it was a strong tropical storm with sustained winds at 65 miles per hour and gusts up to minimal hurricane force as of 5:00 PM EDT on Thursday.
The good news is that Gordon is no threat to the United States, or any land mass at the moment. Moving to the East at 17 miles per hour, the storm is only a threat to the shipping lanes. However, the five day forecast indicates that it could be a threat to the Azores in the Eastern Atlantic by Sunday afternoon. Now, Gordon is just below hurricane strength as of the 11:00 PM EDT Advisory from the NHC with sustained winds of 70 miles per hour and gusts up to 80 miles per hour. Minimum central pressure is 995 millibars, or 29.38 inches of Hg (Mercury). Since becoming a tropical cyclone on Wednesday afternoon, the storm has dropped some 18 millibars, or 0.53 inches.
The storm is showing good banding and a healthy outflow on the satellite imagery, and dry air and wind shear have not been factors yet. The latest forecast discussion indicates that Gordon will be a hurricane over the next 12 hours, and peak in intensity by 24 hours. The storm should remain a hurricane for up to 24 hours after that before starting to weaken in cooler waters. Gordon is forecast to become post-tropical within four days. Interests in the Azores should monitor the progress of this system.
Returning to the remnants of TD #7, the National Hurricane Center has indicated that activity has increased and organization has improved with the disturbance, and it is in an area that is more favorable for development. There is a 40 percent chance of tropical formation over the next two days, and Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to fly into the area tomorrow to investigate the disturbance.