Gert Becomes Strongest 2017 Atlantic Hurricane to Date Before Dissipating

Season’s 2nd Hurricane Peaked With 105 MPH Winds on Wednesday

Over the past week, the Atlantic Tropics have picked up in earnest with the development of several storms and possibly another one in the making. One of those storms was the seventh named storm of the season, Gert, which eventually not only became the second hurricane of the 2017 season, but also grew to the strongest hurricane to date.

After battling some difficulties with the dry air in the Atlantic, Gert finally found a favorable area for development in the Western Atlantic and became a tropical storm on Sunday afternoon approximately 505 miles West-Southwest of Bermuda. Gert continued to grow and became the second hurricane in the Atlantic for 2017 some 30 hours later on Monday night.

While being no threat to land during its lifetime, Gert generated swells that resulted in rough surf and rip current conditions around Bermuda and along the North Carolina, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast coasts of the United States. Hurricane Gert deepened further to a Category Two storm on the Saffir-Simpson Scale by dropping another 12 millibars over the next 24 hours to 967 millibars, or 28.56 inches of Hg while its winds increased to 105 miles per hour.

Although it had deepened fairly quickly in the Western Atlantic by dropping some 19 millibars in 48 hours from Monday night to Wednesday night, Gert dissipated even more rapidly as it entered the cooler waters of the North Atlantic. Within 18 hours, the pressure in Gert’s circulation rose 18 millibars, its winds decreased to tropical storm force at 65 miles per hour, and it became post-tropical.

Nevertheless, Gert could be an indication that the Atlantic is finally ratcheting up as expected for this time of year. Prior to Gert, there had only been one hurricane, Franklin, which was just minimal hurricane strength with 75 mph winds. All the other tropical systems had just been storms or depressions. Most of those storms have been weak to mild with Cindy being the strongest with 60 mile per hour winds.

In Gert’s wake, there is a new storm in the Atlantic as Tropical Storm Harvey formed on Wednesday, and is currently moving through the Windward Islands as a minimal storm with 40 mph winds. In addition, there are two other disturbances in the Central and Western Atlantic including one, Invest 92L that has a 60 percent chance of development within the next 48 hours to 5 days. So far this season, there have been 9 depressions, 8 named storms, and 2 hurricanes in the Atlantic.