JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The tropics are rather active right now, from Hurricane Paulette to Tropical Storms Sally and Teddy to Tropical Depressions Rene and 21, plus two areas we are watching for the potential for development. Despite the high volume of storms and systems, the long term forecast models forecast that we won’t see much from any of them.
Here’s what we expect with each system. For the sake of clarity, we’ll work from west to east, starting with what’s in the Gulf and ending with what is off of the coastline of Africa.
Tropical disturbance in the Gulf
Disorganized showers and thunderstorms over the western and southwestern Gulf of Mexico are associated with a weak area of low pressure. Development of this system is not expected due to strong upper-level winds while it moves slowly southwestward and then southward over the western Gulf of Mexico during the next few days. The chance for formation is only around 10% over the next 5 days. We won’t see any effect on our local forecast from this system.
TRACKING THE TROPICS: Interactive map
Hurricane Sally is expected to intensify further as it heads toward the Louisiana/Mississippi coastline. Data from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft investigating Sally indicate the system has rapidly strengthened to a hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of around 100 mph with higher gusts. The estimated minimum central pressure is 985 mb. At 5 p.m, the center of Hurricane Sally was located near latitude 28.8 North, longitude 87.4 West. Sally is moving toward the west-northwest near 6 mph , and this motion is expected to continue through tonight. A northward turn is expected by Tuesday, and a slow north-northeastward to northeastward motion is expected Tuesday night through Wednesday night. On the forecast track, the center of Sally will move near the coast of southeastern Louisiana tonight and Tuesday, and make landfall in the hurricane warning area on late Tuesday or Wednesday.
Locally, after Sally makes landfall, the system will move across Mississippi and then Georgia, dragging tropical moisture across our area and enhancing our rain coverage and intensity for the middle of the week.
Hurricane Paulette is making its way over Bermuda today and is expected to intensify further. At 5 p.m, the eye of Hurricane Paulette was located near latitude 34.5 North, longitude 63.8 West.
Paulette is moving toward the north-northeast near 15 mph). A turn toward the northeast is expected later tonight followed by a turn toward the east-northeast and an increase in forward speed Tuesday afternoon through Thursday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 105 mph with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is likely through Tuesday night as Paulette accelerates northeastward to east-northeastward. Gradual weakening is forecast to begin on Wednesday. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles
Paulette will not have any effect on our forecast locally, with the exception of slightly bumpier seas from a sloppy swell.
Tropical Depression Rene
Normally Tropical Depressions have numbers, not names, but Rene was briefly a Tropical Storm and has since weakened back into a depression, so it gets to keep it’s name.
At 5 p.m, the remnants of Rene were located near latitude 26.9 North, longitude 49.3 West. The remnants are moving toward the west-southwest near 7 mph and this general motion will likely continue for another day or two. Maximum sustained winds are near 30 mph with higher gusts. Winds associated with the remnants of Rene should gradually subside during the next day or so.
Rene will have no effect on our forecast.
Tropical Storm Teddy
At 5 p.m, the center of Tropical Storm Teddy was located near latitude 13.0 North, longitude 44.0 West. Teddy is moving toward the west near 14 mph. A west-northwestward motion at a slower forward speed is expected tonight through Tuesday night, followed by a northwestward motion Wednesday and Thursday.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 50 mph with higher gusts. Steady strengthening is forecast for the next several days, and Teddy is expected to become a hurricane Tuesday and could reach major hurricane strength on Thursday. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center.
The storm that eventually became Teddy was the one to watch according to the long term forecast models last week, but now the models agree Teddy will curve northward before approaching the U.S. and not have an effect on our area. we may see some sloppy surf from Teddy, but strong Northeasterly winds over us during that time will keep it pretty messy.
Tropical Storm Vicky
The newest named system in the Atlantic is Tropical Storm Vicky. It will be a short-lived storm, torn apart by shear later this week. Vicky will have no effect on our forecast.
The center of Tropical Storm Vicky was located near latitude 19.3 North, longitude 29.5 West. Vicky is moving toward the northwest near 7 mph. A continued northwestward motion is expected through early Tuesday, followed by a gradual turn toward the west by Wednesday. Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph with higher gusts. Gradual weakening is anticipated, and Vicky is forecast to become a remnant low during the next day or two. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles from the center.
Tropical disturbance near Africa
A tropical wave near the west coast of Africa is producing disorganized shower and thunderstorm activity. Environmental conditions appear to be conducive for slow development of the system this week as the wave moves westward at about 10 mph over the far eastern tropical Atlantic. This system has a 50% chance to develop over the next 5 days, and it is too soon to tell where this system will head if it forms.