Hurricaneville Says Hello To Flo!

Good morning everyone. I have been working on some kinks with the Greg’s Weather Center web site, particularly the automation side of it including the weather reports uploaded to the internet from my weather station in the backyard. I’ve also added another link to the links page as well as a blog entry on the aftermath of Ernesto in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

The tropics continue to be active as another depression formed on Sunday, and then became better organized on Monday, which led to the emergence of Florence on Tuesday morning. The tropical storm developed from a broad area of low pressure that was first an impressive cluster of thunderstorms that moved off of Africa last week. The waves coming off the African coast have been more impressive, and more notably, they have held together better once in the Atlantic Ocean.

So far, there have been only six named storms in the Tropical Atlantic in the 2006 season. Of those six, there has been only one that was able to reach hurricane strength. None of the storms were able to become a major hurricane of Category Three intensity or better on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. Seasonal forecasts from both NOAA and Dr. William Gray of Colorado State have been revised downward to have fewer storms, hurricanes, and major hurricanes. As a matter of fact, the number of hurricanes and major hurricanes were predicted to be below average by Gray in his September forecast.

The way the forecast looks right now, Florence appears to be on its way to becoming the season’s first major storm despite battling hostile upper level dynamics at the moment. As of the 11 PM EDT Advisory on Wednesday night from the National Hurricane Center, the maximum sustained winds with Florence were at 50 mph while the minimum central pressure has dropped to 1000 mb, or 29.53 inches of Hg. The system is located some 700 miles to the East of the Northern Leeward Islands, or 1160 miles to the Southeast of the island of Bermuda.

Florence is moving to the West-Northwest near 10 mph, and that motion is expected to continue over the next 24 hours with an increase in forward speed. The storm is anticipated to become a hurricane within 36 hours, and a major hurricane within 96 hours. As far as Florence affecting the East Coast of the United States, it doesn’t appear at the moment to be a threat. Within five days, the storm is expected to turn to the North between Bermuda and the U.S. Atlantic Coast. The key longitude to watch for is 70.0 West according to Dr. Steve Lyons of the Weather Channel. That particular longitude represents the eastmost point along the United States.

If Florence begins to turn more northward before 70.0 West longitude, then it is more likely that the storm will affect either Bermuda, Nova Scotia, or Newfoundland. On the other hand, if it doesn’t, coastal areas from the Southeast Coast to New England should closely monitoring the progress of the storm. As a matter of fact, residents along the East Coast should keep a close eye on the developing situation from time to time.