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Tropical Depression 14 Continues West- Northwestward ; Could Form Hurricane near Florida; NHC Warns

Tropical Depression Moving Westward Toward the Western Caribbean Sea. Hurricane Hunter Aircraft Scheduled to Investigate the System This Afternoon, National Hurricane Center informed.

Tropical Depression Thirteen and Tropical Depression Fourteen have formed and both are projected to intensify to at least tropical storm strength according to the National Hurricane Center. A tropical depression in the Atlantic is expected to strengthen into either Tropical Storm Laura or Marco today, and could become a hurricane as it tracks toward Florida by early next week, according to the National Hurricane Center’s 11 a.m. update.Tropical Depression Thirteen (below) is projected to become a tropical storm and then a hurricane near Florida.

 The 11 am advisory on August 20th from the National Hurricane Center says, “The NHC intensity forecast now shows the system becoming a hurricane by 96 hours, but it is a little lower than the consensus aids at days 4 and 5 due to uncertainty in how much the system will interact with the Greater Antilles.” The storm has recently shown some indication of organization but is still getting its act together. If you live in Florida or along the eastern Gulf of Mexico coast, you should pay close attention to this storm.

Tropical Depression Fourteen (below) is currently located to the southwest of Jamaica and is projected to pass over the Yucatan Peninsula before emerging in the western Gulf of Mexico. The National Hurricane Center track forecast suggests that people in Texas and Louisiana should be be paying close attention. The key point that caught my eye in the National Hurricane Center advisory is the following statement: “It is possible that the depression could be near or at hurricane strength when it approaches the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico in 2-3 days...Some weakening is anticipated when the center moves over land, and then re-strengthening is likely after it moves over the Gulf of Mexico.” There is still quite a bit of uncertainty in the intensity forecast once the storm gets closer to the U.S.

If both storms are named, as expected, it would be the earliest “L” storm on record. Colorado State University hurricane expert Dr. Phil Klotzbach tweeted, “The next Atlantic named storm in 2020 will be #Laura. Current Atlantic record for earliest ‘L’ storm is Luis on August 29, 1995. #hurricane.” I suspect both storms will be named eventually so we’ll likely see a record early ‘M’ storm (Marco) too. The National Hurricane Center points out in Tweet, “So far, eleven named storms have developed in the Atlantic Ocean this tropical season. Historically, only two named storms form on average by early August, and the ninth named storm typically does not form until October 4.”

I will close with this cautionary note from Dr. Matt Sitkowski at The Weather Channel, “Two tropical threats early next week! Be ready to act this weekend! These forecasts will change...” While both storms are not currently forecasted to be a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico at the same time. If that did happen, I suspect that would be rather unique. Buckle up folks. It’s 2020, and we are entering the busiest part of the Atlantic hurricane season.

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