, °F

Personalized Forecasts

Featured Forecast

My Favorite Forecasts

    My Recent Locations

    Tropical Storm Patty Forms, T.D. 17 in the Making

    By By Alex Sosnowski, expert senior meteorologist.
    October 12, 2012, 8:55:11 AM EDT

    Even though the peak of hurricane season has passed, there is sometimes a second pulse of tropical storms and hurricanes during October.

    While it may seem the door has shut in the Atlantic Basin for this season, there are still some reasons to keep up the guard.

    Tropical Depression 16 was upgraded to Tropical Storm Patty Thursday evening.

    There have now been 16 named tropical systems this year in the Atlantic and there has recently been one of the longest-lived tropical systems on record, Nadine.

    AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center meteorologists do not expect a big new crop of tropical storms and hurricanes for the remainder of the season, but they are monitoring a couple of areas in the Atlantic during week two of October.

    One is an area of disturbed weather east of the Bahamas that has yielded Tropical Storm Patty.


    400x266_10112044_patty


    The lifespan of this system may be rather short as it will soon merge with or be shredded by a cold front nearby to the west.


    400x266_10120801_patty_101212

    According to Expert Senior Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski, "The front and some of tropical moisture from the system will bring Bermuda heavy rain into the weekend. The rest of the tropical moisture may slice southward over part of the Bahamas and Cuba."

    While the system remains an entity, it will bring rough seas to the northeastern facing beaches and shoreline of the Bahamas.

    Another concern is a broad area of low pressure that has formed from a tropical wave over the Central Atlantic.

    "There is a chance that this feature, could soon develop into the next Atlantic tropical depression of the season," Kottlowski said.


    avn-animated

    The system is likely to travel in the neighborhood of the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico spanning late this week into early next week.


    400x266_10101709_atlanticdisturbance


    "Strong westerly winds aloft currently exist where the system is heading, but they may weaken for a time, allowing for some development," Kottlowski said.

    Showers and thunderstorms will enhance from east to west from the Leeward Islands to Puerto Rico this weekend into early next week. While there is a risk from flash and urban flooding and potentially gusty squalls, the region is in need of rain.

    People from the northeastern Caribbean islands to Bermuda will want to keep an eye on the system and be prepared for potentially adverse weather conditions.

    Why a Second Spike in Atlantic Tropical Storms, Hurricanes?


    400x266_10091429_hurricanefrequency


    Hurricanes need warm water, weak upper-level winds and moist air to develop.

    During October, ocean waters begin to cool and upper-level winds begin to increase. However, water temperatures often remain just warm enough for development. In addition, strong upper-levels winds can still be absent long enough to allow development.

    During the peak of hurricane season, September, most tropical systems are born from disturbances moving westward off the coast of Africa. The disturbances are called tropical waves. While the number of waves tends to decline during October, there are still enough remaining to cause trouble occasionally.

    Plenty of moist air also remains over the Atlantic well into autumn.


    400x266_10091431_fuelforahurricane

    "During October, we begin to see more fronts move to and stall over the Gulf of Mexico and just off the Atlantic coast of the United States," Kottlowski said.

    The fronts offer a means to spawn thunderstorms, which can then gradually develop into a tropical system.

    "We also tend to get more frequent, large areas of high pressure building over the United States," Kottlowski said, "The circulation around these fair weather systems can help to spin up tropical systems to their south and east over the warm Gulf and Atlantic waters."


    400x266_10091438_hurricanerequirements


    While westerly winds aloft tend to strengthen and guide many tropical storms and hurricanes away from North America moving forward through the autumn, every once in a while, these winds back around and allow a tropical system to plow inland or parallel the coast.

    There have been very costly October hurricanes in terms of lives lost and destruction to property.

    1954's Hazel was one of the worst October hurricanes on record. The storm claimed over 1,000 lives (most of them in Haiti) and caused over $400 million (1954 dollars) in damage. Hazel was captured by strong upper-level steering winds and drawn northward at amazing speed along the Atlantic Seaboard of the U.S.

    According to AccuWeather.com Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, "The highest winds ever recorded, 94 mph, at Philadelphia International Airport, occurred as Hazel passed to the west. Hurricane-force winds occurred as far inland as Toronto, Canada, on the shores of Lake Ontario."

    AccuWeather will have more on this historic hurricane on Monday, Oct. 15, 2012.

    1964's Hilda curved in from the Caribbean, turned northward over the central Gulf of Mexico and slammed into Louisiana with 135-mph winds and tremendous storm surge. More than 35 people died in the storm.

    Dangers from the tropics not only come from hurricanes, but also from tremendous moisture from a tropical storm or depression. As these tropical systems move into a cooler environment, they can no longer hold their moisture and release it in the form of tremendous rainfall and the risk of flooding.

    1985's Juan dropped nearly a foot of rain on the north-central Gulf Coast. As many as 48 people died as a result of the storm. Damage approached $3 billion.

    Report a Typo

    Weather News

    • What is the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale?

      HurricaneFacts - May 11, 2012, 4:28:00 AM EDT

      The Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale is a categorical classification of hurricanes based on their wind speed, used by the U.S. government's National Hurricane Center.

    • Atlantic Category 5 Storms

      HurricaneFacts - April 30, 2010, 5:44:18 AM EDT

      To qualify as a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane intensity scale, maximum sustained winds must exceed 155 mph (135 kt).

    • Retired Hurricane Names

      HurricaneFacts - April 30, 2010, 5:39:50 AM EDT

      Hurricanes that have a severe impact on lives or the economy are remembered by generations after the devastation they caused, and some go into weather history.

    • 590x334_04301437_atlantic

      Download Hurricane Tracking Maps

      HurricaneFacts - April 30, 2010, 5:23:44 AM EDT

      AccuWeather.com has created a number of specialty maps designed for tracking the progress of tropical storms and hurricanes. Use these maps in conjunction with our Hurricane Position graphic, as well as statements issued by the NHC with storm positions.

    • World Map

      When and Where Do Hurricanes Occur?

      HurricaneFacts - April 30, 2010, 5:09:36 AM EDT

      Hurricanes (by whatever name) are by far most common in the Pacific Ocean, with the western Pacific being most active. In some years, the Philippines are struck by more than 20 tropical storms and typhoons.

    • Cross Section of a Hurricane

      What Are the Parts of a Hurricane?

      HurricaneFacts - April 30, 2010, 4:30:19 AM EDT

      Low pressure in the hurricane can act as a plunger, slightly pulling up the water level. However, the components that contribute to the greatest storm surge affect are the winds blowing to the left side of the storm and the topography of the land as the storm makes land fall.

    • Stage 1

      How Do Storms Develop?

      HurricaneFacts - April 30, 2010, 4:25:45 AM EDT

      There are 5 stages in storm development.

    • 401x267_04301316_facts_season

      When is Hurricane Season in the Atlantic?

      HurricaneFacts - April 30, 2010, 4:14:30 AM EDT

      Hurricane season in the Atlantic runs from June 1 to November 30.

    • Hurricane Preparation Checklists

      HurricaneFacts - April 30, 2010, 4:00:59 AM EDT

      Despite living along the coast, and even after major disasters such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Ike in 2008, a 2009 survey revealed that most residents are not prepared for a hurricane. The U.S. Government's National Hurricane Center advises the following actions for hurricane disaster preparation.

    • Feature graphic hd23

      Strong tropical cyclone to threaten eastern India later this week

      Weather News - December 05, 2016, 9:03:51 AM EST

      On the heels of Cyclone Nada, a more significant tropical cyclone threatens to take aim at India this week.