Somehow, I just can’t get too excited about the tropical storm named Fred. I have nothing against the name, but “Fred” just doesn’t sound very mean or menacing like tropical storms are supposed to be. Here’s a look at a visible image of Fred I grabbed from the NOAA Satellite and Information Service.
The Meteorological Service of the Cape Verde Islands has issued a Hurricane Warning for the Cape Verde Islands. This replaces the Tropical Storm Warning and Hurricane Watch that were previously in effect for them.
At 11:00 AM AST (1500 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Fred was located near latitude 13.4 North, longitude 19.9 West. Fred was moving toward the northwest near 12 mph and this motion was expected to continue through Tuesday. On this forecast track, the center of Fred is expected to move through the Cape Verde Islands on Monday through early Tuesday. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 50 mph with higher gusts. Some additional strengthening is expected during the next day or so, and Fred was forecast to become a hurricane before reaching the Cape Verde Islands on Monday.
Here’s the forecast track graphic from the National Hurricane Center.
Fortunately, other than the Cape Verde Islands, Fred is only a threat to shipping.
While nobody wants to be hit by a tropical storm or hurricane, there is no doubt that these systems do provide some needed assistance. Tropical weather systems can produce moderate to heavy rain events which help ease drought conditions. Of course, we want and look for a good soaking and not too much rain to produce flooding. As the map below shows, South Florida is rated a D3, or extreme drought, so they can really use a good soaking event.
According to projections by HPC, Hydrometeorological Prediction Center, Florida could see on the order to 3 to 5 inches (see map below) over the next five days. As long as that rain does not come down all at once, but is spread out over much of the next 3 to 4 days, it should help to ease the drought conditions currently affecting South Florida.
Tropical Storm Erika has completely fallen apart this morning, the victim of wind shear and the mountainous terrain of the island of Hispaniola.
Reconnaissance into the storm was unable to find evidence of a closed circulation.
The system will continue northwest into the Gulf of Mexico and bring heavy rain to the Florida Peninsula and the Gulf Coast. Regeneration does not look likely.
The NHC has named the system in the Central Atlantic about 950 miles east of the Leeward Islands tonight. It is Tropical Storm Erika.
Here are the Fast Facts on Erika:
SUMMARY OF 1100 PM AST…0300 UTC…INFORMATION
ABOUT 955 MI…1535 KM E OF THE LEEWARD ISLANDS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…45 MPH…75 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…W OR 275 DEGREES AT 20 MPH…31 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1003 MB…29.62 INCHES
Erika is in a favorable environment for intensification with an envelope of moisture, low shear and warm water. That should continue for at least 48 hours before it encounters some shear. It is expected to become a strong tropical storm, but could become a hurricane, as depicted by the HWRF model.
There is some uncertainty in track, but there is a good chance this could affect the United States. If it is weaker, it could be shunted south toward the Gulf of Mexico. A stronger storm would be pulled further north and could be near the Bahamas by the end of the wekeend, with a threat to the East Coast.
Erika will be interesting to watch.
Danny dissipated this morning as expected over the northern Leeward Islands.
But I am afraid it probably can’t…
Danny made a bit of a comeback this morning according to satellite pictures, with an expanded circulation and a flare of convection around the center. But he rally was short lived, the short term effect of approaching shear that will eventually tear the storm apart, and the death rattle will begin soon.
Tropical storm warnings are in effect for Antigua, Barbuda, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Anguilla with tropical storm watches for Puerto Rico, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and the rest of the northern Leeward Islands.
Danny will move across the islands of Guadeloupe and Antigua late tonight into Monday then across southern parts of Hispaniola by Tuesday night.
This should effectively knock the stuffing out of the little hurricane that could. It is yet to be seen whether the plucky little storm will be able to regenerate later this week as it moves a long the North Coast of Cuba. The smart money is on no for now.
BUT: Having said that, watch the system behind Danny. It will likely become Tropical Storm Erika this week, on a similar trajectory to Danny. The European does ramp this back up into a powerful storm as it moves through the Bahamas around September 1, but recurve it between the U.S. East Coast and Bermuda early that week.
Not only is Danny the first hurricane of the 2015 season, he is also the first MAJOR hurricane of the season.
At 2:00 pm AST, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami issued a tropical cyclone update announcing that the NOAA aircraft investigating the storm found maximum estimated winds to be 115 mph. This makes Danny a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
I know that is certainly not good news for anyone in the Southeast US or along the Gulf coast since the forecast track of Danny currently appears to be on a fairly straight line for the Florida Straits. But there is good news in that Danny is moving into an area of unfavorable upper level wind, so a weakening trend is expected to begin later today.