Tropical Storm Wilfred Updates

[Update 09/18/2020]:

What we know:

At 12:00pm EST, the center of Tropical Storm Wilfred was located near latitude 11.9 North, longitude 32.4 West.

Wilfred is moving toward the west-northwest near 17 mph (28 km/h) and this general motion is expected for the next few days. Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts. Some slight strengthening is possible today, and weakening should start this weekend and continue into next week.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles (220 km) from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1008 mb (29.77 inches).

 

Hurricane Teddy Updates

[Update 09/18/2020]:

What we know:

Hurricane Teddy is charging ahead as a powerful Category 4 storm, and by Sunday night or Monday morning, it may skirt Bermuda as a Category 2 or 3 hurricane.

The worst of the storm will likely stay offshore the island, but Bermuda may be briefly hit with hurricane conditions overnight Sunday into Monday.

Then, Teddy really picks up speed and moves north, likely becoming a sub-tropical storm as it heads toward Nova Scotia.

Teddy could bring rip currents to the East Coast over the weekend.

 

 

[Update 09/15/2020]:

What we know:

Teddy is expected to be a large and powerful hurricane over the central Atlantic Ocean in a few days.

At 500 AM AST (0900 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Teddy was located near latitude 13.7 North, longitude 46.0 West.

Teddy is moving toward the west-northwest near 12 mph (19 km/h), and a west-northwest to northwest track is anticipated during the next few days. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 60 mph (95 km/h) with higher gusts. Strengthening is forecast for the next several days, and Teddy is likely to become a hurricane late today and could reach major hurricane strength in a few days. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km) from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1001 mb (29.56 inches).

 

Tropical Storm Sally Updates

[UPDATE 09/14/2020]:

Hurricane Sally reached Category 2 strength Monday afternoon as it neared the Gulf coast, but forecasters warned the storm’s real danger could be in devastating flooding.

The latest forecast showed Sally could bring up to 11 feet of storm surge and 2 feet of rain in some spots in Louisiana, but Sally’s impact will be felt from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle.

Monday evening, the eastern coast of Louisiana, as well as the entire coast of Mississippi and Alabama were under hurricane warnings, and the western coast of the Florida panhandle was under a tropical storm warning.

As of 5 p.m., the National Hurricane Center said the storm was moving west-northwest at 6 mph and was about 105 miles east of the mouth of the Mississippi River. Its maximum sustained winds were 100 mph with higher gusts and tropical-storm-force winds extended up to 125 miles from the center. Hurricane-force winds extended up to 25 miles from the center.

[UPDATE 09/13/2020]:

Tropical Storm Sally is now predicted to make landfall as a Category 2 hurricane late Monday.

The storm has reached winds of 60 mph and is about 135 miles West of St. Petersburg, Florida. The storm is moving west-northwest at 12 mph.

Sally is expected to strengthen today and Monday. Life-threatening storm surge, hurricane winds and torrential rain are expected along the Gulf coast beginning Monday

Heavy rain continues to fall on the eastern side of Sally, especially from the Florida Keys to Sarasota.

Key West, Florida, recorded nearly 4 inches of rain in just one hour overnight causing flash flooding there. Additionally, Key West, also observed 9.37 inches of rain yesterday.

Flood watches have been issued for a large part of the Southeast U.S.

Regardless of the wind speed of Sally, the primary and most major concern remains the water because Sally is expected to slow down dramatically as it approaches the coast line.

Sally’s outer bands should begin to reach the Gulf Coast tomorrow morning. As we move through time, it is evident that Sally does not make significant progress inland until Wednesday morning.

This likely allows for up to 48 hours of storm surge and rainfall which could be a very dangerous situation.

The rainfall forecast now calls for up to 20 inches along the Gulf Coast. As with all hurricanes, this rainfall will be realized east of the center and could cause major flash flooding.

The storm surge forecast is now up to 11 feet, again east of the center. Sally is expected to be a very slow moving storm, with the ability to bring very dangerous storm surge and flash flooding.

A mandatory evacuation has been issued for Grand Isle, Louisiana, according to a press release from Grand Isle Mayor David Carmadelle’s office. The town of Grand Isle will open an evacuation center at the Raceland Recreation Center, located at 221 Recreation Drive, Raceland, Louisiana.

There are also two more tropical waves pushing off Africa as well as Tropical Depression 20.

Tropical Disturbance Updates

Tropical Disturbance 1

What we know:

A broad area of low pressure is expected to form over the western Caribbean Sea in a few days. Environmental conditions are expected to be conducive for some gradual development thereafter, and a tropical depression could form late this week or this weekend while the system moves slowly west-northwestward over the northwestern Caribbean Sea.

What is the likelihood of it gaining strength?

Formation chance through 48 hours: Near 0 percent (Low).

Formation chance through 5 days: 50 percent (Medium).

 

 

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Tropical Storm Rene

[UPDATE: 09/08/20]:

Another robust tropical wave that emerged off the coast of western Africa on Sunday quickly organized into Tropical Depression 18 early Monday morning, which was later upgraded to Tropical Storm Rene late Monday afternoon.

Tropical Storm Rene had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and was moving to the west at 15 mph as of 8 a.m. EDT Tuesday.

Rene, the 17th named storm of the 2020 season, set yet another record for the basin. This is the earliest on record than an “R” storm has developed, according to Klotzbach. Rita, which formed on Sept. 18, 2005, was the previous record holder for the earliest “R” named storm on record.

[UPDATE: 09/04/20]:

What we know:

Another tropical wave is forecast to move off the west coast of Africa on Sunday. Gradual development of this system is then expected, and a tropical depression could form by the middle of next week while it moves generally westward over the far eastern tropical Atlantic.

 

What is the likelihood of it gaining strength?

Formation chance through 48 hours: Near 0 percent (Low).

Formation chance through 5 days: 50 percent (Medium).

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Tropical Storm Paulette

[Update 09/07/20]:

Tropical Storm Paulette formed Monday morning in the central Atlantic, far from land.

The storm’s maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph with modest strengthening expected over the next few days, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

The storm is centered about 1,205 miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands and moving west-northwest near 3 mph.

It’s expected to maintain tropical storm status thru this week as it heads towards Bermuda.

The storm comes amid an active hurricane season but is not currently a threat to land.

There are just five storm names to go before the National Hurricane Center moves to the Greek alphabet for storm names.

What we know:

A tropical wave located off the coast of west Africa is merging with another disturbance located a couple of hundred miles south of the Cabo Verde Islands, resulting in an extensive area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms. Development of this system is likely to be slow during the next couple of days while it moves west- northwestward at about 15 mph, and a tropical depression is more likely to form early next week over the central tropical Atlantic where environmental conditions are forecast to be more favorable for development.

 

What is the likelihood of it gaining strength?

Formation chance through 48 hours: 20 percent (Low).

Formation chance through 5 days: 70 percent (High).

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Hurricane Laura Updates

[08/27 UPDATE]:

Hurricane Laura slammed southern Louisiana early Thursday as a Category 4 storm, one of the most powerful to strike the Gulf Coast in decades. The storm made landfall at 1 a.m. near Cameron, LA., about 35 miles east of the Texas border.

Downtown Lake Charles, La., took a heavy hit, with widespread destruction from Laura’s devastating winds. Roofs were peeled off, buildings were destroyed, and lampposts were tossed into the streets. An industrial plant that makes chlorine-based products nearby was on fire, sending caustic smoke throughout the area and leading to a shelter-in-place order.

The storm, which leaped from a Category 1 hurricane on Tuesday to a high-end Category 4 on Wednesday night, packed 150 mph peak winds when it crossed the coast. The storm weakened and was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane Thursday afternoon as it headed northward.

Heavy rain was predicted to be widespread across the west-central Gulf Coast with five to 10 inches falling over a broad area, and locally up to 18 inches, leading to flash flooding.

[08/26 UPDATE]:

Hurricane Laura is expected to become a Category 4 storm and slam into the Louisiana and Texas coasts as a major hurricane Wednesday evening. At least 20 million people are in the storm’s path and over half a million have been ordered to evacuate.

The hurricane, currently a Category 3, was “rapidly intensifying” over the Gulf of Mexico early Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center said. It warned of potentially catastrophic and life-threatening storm surge, extreme winds, and flash flooding Wednesday night along the northwest Gulf Coast

“Steps to protect life and property should be rushed to completion in the next few hours,” it said early Wednesday morning.

Laura was located about 280 miles south-southeast of Lake Charles, Louisiana, and 290 miles southeast of Galveston, Texas, according to the hurricane center. It was moving northwest at 15 mph and had maximum sustained winds near 115 mph.

“On the forecast track, Laura should approach the Upper Texas and southwest Louisiana coasts this evening and move inland near those areas tonight or Thursday morning,” the hurricane center said.

“Laura is a dangerous category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, and is forecast to continue strengthening into a category 4 hurricane later today. Rapid weakening is expected after Laura makes landfall.”

[08/25 UPDATE]:

Laura became the fourth hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season Tuesday morning, based on measurements taken by NOAA hurricane hunter aircraft.

Laura has prompted hurricane and storm surge watches for the Gulf Coast. Hurricane warnings could be issued for parts of these areas later today.

A hurricane watch has been posted from San Luis Pass, Texas, to west of Morgan City, Louisiana, and also extends inland to include parts of the eastern Houston metro, Beaumont and Port Arthur, Texas, Lake Charles and Lafayette, Louisiana. This means tropical storm conditions (winds 40 mph or greater) are possible in these areas by Wednesday afternoon and hurricane conditions (winds greater than 74 mph) are possible by late Wednesday.

storm surge watch has also been issued from San Luis Pass, Texas, to Ocean Springs, Mississippi. This watch, meaning life-threatening inundation of water moving ashore over land is possible within the area in 48 hours or less. The watch includes Galveston Bay, Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas and Lake Borgne for areas outside of the southeast Louisiana Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System.

 

[08/24 UPDATE]:

Tropical Storm Marco fell apart Monday as it approached the southeast coast of Louisiana, turning attention to Tropical Storm Laura, which poses a serious threat to the coasts of Louisiana and Texas.

Computer models suggest that Laura could tap the exceptionally warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and intensify into a large and dangerous hurricane as it moves toward the Gulf Coast. The storm is forecast to make landfall late Wednesday or early Thursday in the zone roughly between New Orleans and Corpus Christi.

The National Hurricane Center’s track forecast suggests that the area near the border of Texas and Louisiana is most likely to endure a direct hit, although shifts are possible.

Early Monday afternoon, Marco was succumbing to hostile shear — a change in wind direction and speed with altitude — and had weakened to a minimal tropical storm. The Hurricane Center predicted that it would further weaken but cautioned that the remnant circulation would bring heavy rain and gusty winds to the northern Gulf Coast through Tuesday.

The National Hurricane Center’s forecast track for Tropical Storm Laura, as of 2 PM. Monday.

[08/22 UPDATE]:

Tropical Storm Laura appeared more disorganized on Saturday morning as it moved over Puerto Rico, but it’s still expected to become a hurricane after it sweeps the Caribbean on the latest forecast track, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Marco picked up strength overnight as it targets Mexico and Texas. Marco formed late Friday night in the northwestern Caribbean.

Most of the Sunshine State is out of Tropical Storm Laura’s cone of uncertainty except for parts of the Florida keys, according to the latest forecast.

But Laura could still bring storm surge, wind and rain to the state, forecasters say. And despite its center appearing more disorganized, the storm is also still forecast to transform into a hurricane early next week.

 

The National Hurricane Center’s forecast track for Tropical Storm Laura, as of 5 a.m. Saturday.

[08/21 UPDATE]:

Tropical Storm Laura formed Friday morning, but much of Florida moved out of its forecast track, according to the 2 p.m. Friday update from the National Hurricane Center.

A Hurricane Hunter aircraft investigated the system and found it had become better organized over the past several hours, but the hurricane center said it has low confidence in the storm’s track and intensity forecasts because of possible interactions with the islands in the Caribbean.

Tropical storm warnings were posted for Puerto Rico, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and several others in the eastern Caribbean.

Monroe County Mayor Heather Carruthers declared a state of emergency at noon Friday ordering the mandatory evacuation of all live-aboard vessels, mobile homes, recreational vehicles, travel trailers, and campers.

General population shelters will be discussed Saturday morning to open on Sunday at 3 p.m. for those who live in vulnerable homes or aboard boats, she said.

 

The National Hurricane Center's forecast track for Tropical Storm Laura, as of 11 a.m. Friday.
The National Hurricane Center’s forecast track for Tropical Storm Laura, as of 11 a.m. Friday.

 

The latest forecast shows the system in the Florida Straits between Cuba and the Keys as a tropical storm on Monday morning, then passing near Key West as a hurricane and into the Gulf of Mexico. The track has Laura making landfall somewhere between the Florida panhandle and New Orleans as a hurricane in the middle of next week.

South Florida may not get the full brunt of a tropical storm or hurricane but that doesn’t mean we won’t feel some of its effects, according to a National Weather Service briefing Friday morning.

“It’s possible some of the outer bands near the region could spur tornado activity,” said meteorologist Robert Garcia. “That’s something we’ll be monitoring for Sunday and Monday, potentially, with the storm approaching and crossing into the Gulf.”

Tropical Storm Laura had sustained winds of 45 mph and was moving quickly at 18 mph toward the west, according to the hurricane center’s advisory at 2 p.m. Friday.

The system — which is about 175 miles southeast of the northern Leeward Islands — could cause storm surge, rainfall and heavy wind in portions of Hispaniola, Cuba, the Bahamas and far southern Florida this weekend.

South Florida residents should continue to monitor its progress. Whether or not the storm moves over the terrain of Greater Antilles this weekend will factor into its track and intensity. Storms generally lose intensity over land and may encounter storm-weakening wind shear.

Another depression in the western Caribbean is also expected to strengthen into Tropical Storm Marco and move north into the Gulf of Mexico. It could also be a hurricane next week off the coast of Texas or Louisiana.

“These are right on schedule,” said Dennis Feltgen, spokesman for the Miami-based National Hurricane Center. “This time of year, in August and into September, you get these tropical waves that roll off the coast of Africa on average about every three or four days.”

Tropical Storm Laura is the 12th storm of the year, matching the record for the most number of tropical storms before September. The only other time that happened was in 2005, the year of Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma.

After Laura, the next named storms of 2020 are Marco, Nana, Omar, Paulette, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky and Wilfred.

In July, there were five tropical storms: Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, Hanna and Isaias. Other named storms this year have included Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal and Dolly. Tropical Storm Arthur formed in mid-May, making this the sixth straight year that a named storm formed before the official start of hurricane season on June 1.

Virtually all estimates for this hurricane season predict an above-average number of storms, due to unusually warm ocean temperatures and global climate factors that are likely to reduce the high-altitude winds that can prevent the formation of hurricanes.

 

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Hurricane Isais Could Regain Hurricane Strength

Tropical Storm Isaias got slightly stronger as it slid past Florida’s coast and it could become a hurricane again as it nears the Carolinas. It will then push over the Mid-Atlantic into New York and New England. A hurricane watch has been issued from the South Santee River in South Carolina to Surf City, North Carolina. Isaias could still raise ocean levels as much as 4 feet above normal from South Carolina to Virginia, as well as sweeping the eastern seaboard with high winds and wringing out as much as 6 inches (15 cm) of rain in Mid-Atlantic and 4 inches in New York and New England, the National Hurricane Center said. “Isaias is expected to be near hurricane strength when it reaches the coast of northern South Carolina and southern North Carolina Monday night, and strong tropical force winds are likely, with hurricane conditions possible,” Stacy Steward, a meteorologist with center wrote in his forecast.

North Carolina has opened shelters for people looking to flee the storm and will screen for COVID-19 symptoms, sending anyone who tests positive to another location where they can be isolated and receive medical attention, Governor Roy Cooper said in a tweet. The state has also activated 150 National Guard troops to help prepare for flooding and damage.

The storm diminished from hurricane-strength late Saturday and has remained a tropical storm through Sunday. In its weakened state it will probably cause about $700 million in damage and economic loss, down from initial estimates of $3 billion when it was still a hurricane, Chuck Watson, a disaster modeler with Enki Research, said in an email interview.

“Plan for power outages, street flooding, some scattered trees down, and have your radio on in case a random tornado forms,” Watson wrote in his blog earlier. “Plan for some bad weather — hazardous in a few places, but not dangerous if you don’t do anything dumb.”

President Donald Trump issued emergency declarations in Florida, where it nearly hit Sunday, and North Carolina. The storm killed at least one woman in Puerto Rico and caused slight damage across the Bahamas. It is 2020’s ninth Atlantic storm, the fastest such a tally has been reached in records going back to 1851.While forecasters track Isaias, they’re also watching another patch of thunderstorms near the Caribbean Leeward Islands that has a 60% chance of becoming the season’s next storm in five days, the center said.