Keeping a Lookout for Leslie, U.K.-Bound Kirk

By , Expert Senior Meteorologist
September 1, 2012; 8:15 AM ET
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While Kirk could later play a role in Europe's weather, Leslie, also in the central Atlantic, has the potential to become a problem on the East Coast of North America.

We are at the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, and multiple features will be stirring up trouble at the very least.

In this National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration enhanced satellite photo taken Friday, Aug. 31, 2012, Kirk appears in the upper right and Leslie appears in the lower right.

Kirk is forecast to move northeastward over the North Atlantic this weekend and gradually lose tropical characteristics. However, beyond this weekend, it will near land.

According to International Weather Expert Jason Nicholls, "The remnants of Kirk will probably bring rain, gusty winds and thunderstorms to the northern United Kingdom during the first part of next week."

Leslie's ventures next week are more uncertain. Leslie is much farther south in the Atlantic and may not be thrown so easily to the northeast.

According to Expert Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity, "At least several obstacles would have to be overcome for Leslie to survive and wander westward to be of concern for Atlantic Canada and the United States, but there are shorter-term issues to consider."

Even though Leslie will pass north of the Lesser Antilles later this weekend, it is likely that gusty squalls, downpours and building seas will move in and continue into early next week over some of the northeastern islands in the Caribbean. These areas would wind up near the "dirty" southern and eastern part of the storm that typically fills with showers and thunderstorms.

Later next week, Bermuda or part of The Bahamas could experience some effects from Leslie, depending on the track, size and strength of the system.

According to AccuWeather.com Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski, "Significant wind shear during Friday has caused Leslie to lean substantially in the vertical to the south."

Wind shear, which is increasing unidirectional wind with height, limits the intensity and organization of a tropical system, by preventing the thunderstorms from wrapping completely around the center.

"There may also be some dry air issues," Kottlowski said.

Isaac experienced significant dry air entrainment until it neared the north-central Gulf Coast.

Kottlowski pointed out that Leslie is likely to move west-northwestward into progressively warmer water and that some strengthening is possible despite the wind shear and any dry air over the next several days.

Beyond that, there is a big question as to Leslie's track and intensity.

A disturbance is forecast to form off the East Coast of the United States next week. While this, too, has the potential to spin up its own tropical system with time, that feature may cause Leslie to stall and bombard it with wind shear.

During the neighborhood of next weekend, another disturbance may drop southeastward from North America. If Leslie or another tropical system is in the vicinity, it could be captured by the disturbance and yanked toward the upper Atlantic Coast (eastern New England, Nova Scotia or Newfoundland).

"There are certainly a great deal of possibilities with Leslie; however, we are in a normally busy time in the Atlantic, around Labor Day, and it certainly appears we will have our hands full with trouble makers next week," Kottlowski said.

People from the northeastern Caribbean to Newfoundland should keep an eye on Atlantic tropical activity through next week.

According to Meteorologist Mark Mancuso, "Any large system that moves near Bermuda or between Bermuda and the U.S. will create rough seas, building surf and strong rip currents, which could pose trouble for bathers and offshore shipping and fishing interests."

Most beaches do not have lifeguard protection after the Labor Day weekend.

The latest positions and status on tropical systems in the Atlantic, Pacific and other basins around the globe can be found at the AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center.

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