Joyce Forms In Central Atlantic

Storm Emerges From TD #10; Current Forecast Track Has It Staying Away From Land

While Isaac churns away in the Eastern Caribbean, there has been another development in the Atlantic Basin. On Wednesday, a new depression developed midway between the Lesser Antilles and Africa. The depression, the tenth of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season, became Tropical Storm Joyce as of 11:00 AM EDT on Thursday morning.

Currently, Joyce is estimated by satellite imagery to have maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour with gusts up to 45 knots or 50 miles per hour. Minimum central pressure is estimated to be 1006 millibars, or 29.71 inches of Hg. Tropical storm force winds extend some 60 miles from the center of circulation. Not much change in strength is expected over the next 48 hours as it continues to move to the West-Northwest at 17 miles per hour.

The forecast discussion did indicate that cloud activity in the storm has increased, but conditions in the vicinity of the storm are not that favorable for significant development. Presently, the storm is encountering some dry air and wind shear from a nearby upper level low associated with a trough. The SHIPS model forecast calls for Joyce to only strengthen to 60 miles per hour over the next five days. Without a deep core, the storm will just trek beneath the subtropical ridge until it gets far enough west to turn more northward around the periphery of that ridge, and get caught up in the westerlies.

Still a lot of time to watch this system. Joyce is presently 1,305 miles east of the Leeward Islands and moving to the West-Northwest at 17 miles per hour. The development of Joyce brings the current count for this season to 10 named storms, which ties a mark set in both 1995 and 2005 for the earliest date that the 10th named storm formed. Only three storms have gone on to become hurricanes with none of them becoming major hurricanes.