Caribbean system could pose tropical threat to Florida

As Hurricane Fiona plows north and Tropical Storm Gaston meanders in the Atlantic, long-term forecasts now focus on a system in the Caribbean that could bring it closer to Florida by next week.

The National Hurricane Center continues to issue advisories on two named storms, including strong Category 4 Hurricane Fiona, that could threaten Bermuda, but it also maintains constraints on three systems that could become the next tropical depression or hurricane.

At the top of the list is a tropical wave with rain and thunderstorms already bringing heavy rain and strong winds to the southern Windward Islands and soon Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, northwestern Venezuela and northeastern Colombia.

“Upper level winds are currently impeding development, the upper level wind pattern ahead of the system is forecast to become slightly more favorable in a few days, and is likely to become a tropical depression at that time,” the US Navy said. Hurricane expert Dave Roberts.

The system is expected to move toward the west-northwest and be in the central Caribbean later this week. NHC gives it a chance to become 70% in the next two days and 90% within the next five days.

long term forecasting modelOften referred to as the spaghetti model, there are different paths for the system, but many expect it to travel to Cuba and threaten Florida by next week.

“It could develop into a tropical depression or a tropical storm over the next few days,” NHC Acting Director Jamie Rome said on Wednesday. “There’s a lot of speculation now about the potential effects on the United States from this system and it’s so premature.”

He said the NHC is dealing to its capacity over the weekend.

“We can’t say much beyond that with certainty because remember, the prediction of systems that have not yet formed, and that systems have not yet formed, are very few, and by the time a system is formed, the following Until the level of circulation forms, we won’t be able to say much with certainty about the effects of the United States,” he said.

NHC is also eyeing two more systems, which are less likely to be built.

In the mid-tropical Atlantic there is a broad area of ​​low pressure several hundred miles west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands, close to Florida but with less potential. It does have scattered showers and thunderstorms, but the NHC says only of minor environmental conditions.

“Some slow development of this system is possible over the next several days, while it moves slowly northwest or north over the tropical Atlantic,” Roberts said.

NHC gives a 20% chance in the next two days and a 30% chance in the next five days.

Distant, but more likely to form, is a tropical wave off the west coast of Africa that is now forming showers and thunderstorms over the warm waters of the far eastern Atlantic Ocean.

“Environmental conditions are forecast to be favorable for some development, and may form a tropical depression by the end of this week, while the system gradually moves north, between West Africa and the Cabo Verde Islands,” said Roberts. he said.

The probability of formation in the next two to five days is 60%.

Any system that achieves sustained winds of 39 mph or higher will be named Tropical Storm Hermine and next on the hurricane list will be Ian and Julia.

The largest storm in the Atlantic, however, is Hurricane Fiona, which is now blocking northern forecasts to pass through Bermuda and target Canada.

As of 11 a.m. NHC placed its center about 410 miles southwest of Bermuda, currently under a hurricane warning and where worsening weather conditions are expected later today. It remains a Category 4 major hurricane with winds of 130 mph and is moving to the north-northeast at 15 mph. Hurricane-force winds extend up to 70 miles, tropical-storm-force winds extend up to 205 miles.

The Canadian Hurricane Center has issued hurricane watches for Nova Scotia from Hubbards to Brule, Prince Edward Island, le-de-la-Madeleine and from Parsons Pond to Port-aux-Basque off the coast of Newfoundland. It also issued tropical storm watches from St. Andrews, New Brunswick to west of Hubbards, Nova Scotia; from the west of Brule, from Nova Scotia to Cap Madeleine, Quebec; to Anticosti Island; Johann Beetz Bay, Quebec to Parsons Pond, north of Newfoundland; West Bay, Labrador to Hare Bay, Newfoundland; and from St. Lawrence to Port-aux-Basque, east of Newfoundland.

NHC Senior Hurricane Specialist Daniel Brown said: “An increase in forward motion to the north-northeast or northeast is expected today through Friday, followed by a somewhat slow motion through Friday night or Saturday.” will move north. “On the forecast track, the center of Fiona will move west of Bermuda tonight, reach Nova Scotia on Friday, and move into Nova Scotia and the Gulf of St. Lawrence on Saturday.”

While there is no threat to Florida, waves flowing from Fiona are spreading west and could threaten life and rip current conditions along the US East Coast including Florida as well as the Bahamas.

Further motion and transition into a powerful post-tropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds is expected as it passes over Nova Scotia later this week.

Further in the Atlantic is Tropical Storm Gaston, with some of the Azores islands under tropical storm warning.

As of 11 a.m., NHC places the center of Gaston about 315 miles west-northwest of Faial Island in the central Azores, with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph near the east-northeast of 21 mph. move at speed. Its tropical-storm-force winds extend for 115 miles.

“It is expected to turn east by tonight, and a slow motion to the southeast or south is forecast by early Saturday. On the forecast track, the center of Gaston will pass near or over parts of the Azores from tonight through Saturday,” NHC forecasters said.

The system is forecast to weaken over the next few days and then reverse its course towards the south and east as it intensifies into a tropical cyclone.

From September 1, the tropics began playing catchup, catching four named storms in three weeks after nearly two months of calm.

In early August the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration updated its season forecast that 2022 will still be above average with 14 to 21 named storms, although no named storms formed in the month of August.

The 2020 hurricane season set a record with 30 named systems, while the 2021 season was the third most active with 21 named systems. An average year requires 14 named storms.

Through Gaston, 2022 has produced seven designated systems.

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