Hurricane Watch for Bermuda as Karl approches

Tropical Storm Karl tracks north

By John Gaughan - Chief meteorologist, Mark Collins - Meteorologist

Karl is stronger and it has the potential to keep getting stronger, much healthier than 3 days ago.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - 11 AM Friday update

Karl is a strong tropical storm packing winds at 60 mph and it will pass very close to the southeast of Bermuda overnight. Rain on the island through Sunday could add up to 3 inches along with winds over 40 mph beginning tonight.

Karl has organized and should continue to gain strength through Saturday becoming a hurricane. Fortunately the timing for Bermuda would be once the system passed.

Karl's history is a battle with shear and drier than average environments which has plagued so many tropical cyclones this year. 

Tropical systems are having a hard time spinning up into hurricanes.  Even when passing over areas of the Atlantic Ocean that would typically be a region where hurricane development would be expected. 

Storms have been plentiful but thankfully its been a season of mostly weak storms.  The Atlantic has seen double the named storms at 12 to date compared to an average of 8, but they have been very weak at just half the normal hurricane days 8 verses 16.

Karl powered up after passing by warmer water and into a relaxed shear environment. These factors jumped winds from 35 mph to 60 mph in 24 hours. Fortunately the system will throttle up to hurricane force after passing east of Bermuda and then northeast over the open Atlantic.

Lisa is barely holding onto storm status and could become a remnant low this weekend. It has 40 mph winds and is well east of Karl. Lisa may suffer tropical cyclone cannibalization  early next week from Karl. As Karl gets swept eastward in the westerly winds, the remnants could absorb whatever is left of Lisa. Storms like these staying out at sea are the best ones to watch.

Weakening sub-tropical high pressure over the Atlantic will be the reason both these tropical systems will re-curve away from the United States. The sub-tropical high pressure is just another way of saying "Bermuda" high. This high pressure is generally parked near Bermuda {makes sense} is very large and dominating in August and early September. As it weakens, more and more tropical systems re-curve out to sea, failing to cross the Atlantic and reach the United States.

This is good news as we are quickly approaching the 4,000th day without the United States being impacted by a major category 3 or more hurricane. The 4,000 days without is absolutely unprecedented in recorded history, one of the most astonishing and on-going weather record.

With a weakening Bermuda high pressure the more likely possibility (this year) for a major hurricane, would be to have one develop in the Caribbean Sea and then approach Florida or the Gulf Coast. Something we are going to be watching very closely as we head towards October.

Basically, stay tune! There will likely be additional tropical storms and hurricanes after these two "fish" storms.



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