Atlantic Tropics Beginning to Heat Up

Fiona Followed By Invest 99L and Disturbance About to Come Off Africa

Back in June, the Atlantic was off to a fast start. On top of having a hurricane in January, and a storm develop in May, there were two more in June for four named storms in the Atlantic. Meanwhile, the Eastern Pacific was off to one of its slowest starts in decades.

Fast forward to today, and you’ll find that things have flip-flopped with the Eastern Pacific picking up in activity over the last two months while the Atlantic has gone dormant. Other than Earl forming and becoming a hurricane over the first week of August, the Atlantic has been quiet.

On the other hand, the Eastern Pacific, which only had a tropical depression over the first month and a half of its season, and didn’t have its first named storm until July 2nd, is now up to its 11th named storm in Tropical Storm Kay, which became a storm early Friday morning. Five of the storms have gone on to become hurricanes.

Over the past several days though, the Tropical Atlantic has begun to wake up again. On Tuesday, the sixth depression of the season emerged late in the evening, and within 18 hours, the depression became Tropical Storm Fiona. The storm is still a minimal tropical storm with 45 mph winds, and hasn’t really strengthened much over the past couple days.

Fiona has been on a track far to the north putting it out of reach of the Lesser Antilles and the Caribbean. The storm appears to be one for the fishes although the latest forecast guidance from the National Hurricane Center indicates that Fiona could threaten Bermuda within five days. Behind Fiona is another disturbance that could become more of a threat with time.

Located about six hundred miles to the southwest of the Cape Verde Islands, and a few hundred miles to the southeast of Fiona, Invest 99L has been tracked since it departed the African coast a couple days ago. The disturbance is currently disorganized, and it is entering an area of dry and stable air, which isn’t good for development.

However, Invest 99L does have a medium chance, or about 50 percent chance of development within the next five days. Activity is also picking up across Africa. Another disturbance is expected to move off the West African coast during the day on Saturday. In addition, there are another clusters of showers and storms moving across to Sub-Saharan and Sahel regions.

We are now moving into the peak of the Atlantic Season. Statistically speaking, the peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season is September 10th. This is also the time that we see the classic Cape Verde storms develop, or disturbances coming off the African coast to gradually develop into textbook tropical cyclones or hurricanes. Recently, NOAA issued an update to its seasonal forecast, and continued to call for this season to be the most active since 2012.

So, now is the time to start getting prepared for the possibility of a landfalling tropical storm or hurricane in your area. The last major hurricane to make landfall in the United States was Hurricane Wilma back in 2005. The coastline from Maine to Texas has experienced an incredible period of luck when it comes to powerful hurricanes not coming ashore. With that comes complacency and lack of preparedness.

Time is now to get ready. Make sure that you have plenty of non-perishable food and snacks stored away. Make arrangements to have cash available. Have plenty of batteries, flashlights, and water. Most importantly, have a plan put together so that there is something for you and others to follow if a storm does come your way.