Invest 92L likely to become next Atlantic tropical threat
Hanna's winds lashed out with gusts of 100 mph recorded in some areas of Texas. Structures were seen blown away in Port Mansfield on July 25.
Yet another tropical system could be spawned in the Atlantic, as a very active July in the tropics continues. A tropical low originally dubbed Invest 92L had been upgraded to Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and could be the next named storm of the season.
Tropical Storm Warnings have been issued for all of the Leeward Islands, plus Martinique and Puerto Rico, including the U.S. Virgin Islands.
While the center was poorly defined and lacked a cyclonic circular motion it had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph with gust to 50 mph. The various masses of thunderstorms were moving westward at about 22 mph.
Both Gonzalo and Hanna became the earliest G and H-named storms on record in the Atlantic basin when they reached tropical-storm strength last week. Hanna ultimately became a hurricane, the first in the Atlantic basin this season, and made landfall in southern Texas on Saturday evening.
As AccuWeather predicted, it has been an early and active start to the 2020 Atlantic basin tropical season, so much so that five of the first eight-named storms this season are new record holders for the earliest-named storm for their letter.
This trend looks like it may continue in the Atlantic basin, perhaps even before the calendar closes in on August.
With Hanna burying itself in the mountains of Mexico, AccuWeather meteorologists have shifted their focus to what could be the next budding tropical system.
"A tropical low will continue moving generally west-northwestward across the Atlantic Ocean into midweek," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski.
The National Hurricane Center currently gives this feature a 80% chance of development over the next 48 hours, and 90% chance over the next five days. Early Tuesday morning, the system was located about 750 miles east of the Windward Islands.
This zone, filled with warm ocean waters and light wind shear, is just the environment needed to help a tropical wave become a more organized tropical depression.
"There is a chance we could have the next tropical depression in the Atlantic Ocean in just a few days," Pydynowski added.
The area of likely development is the same spot where Gonzalo strengthened last week.
If the west or northwestward track continues in the coming days, this budding tropical depression could impact the Leeward Islands as early as midweek.
"Interests in and around the Caribbean should be carefully monitoring this tropical wave in the coming days," said Pydynowski.
Should this tropical low strengthen quickly enough, and reach tropical-storm strength, it would be given the next name on the list for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season: Isaias, which is pronounced ees-ah-ee-ahs.
The name Isaias has yet to be attributed to a tropical system in the Atlantic. It was first added to the Atlantic tropical season roster after the name Ike was retired in 2008. The last time this list was used, in 2014, the season only produced eight-named storms, never reaching the ninth storm name (the I name) on the list.
Isaias, should it develop this week, would easily be another record-breaker to add to this season's tally. The earliest I-storm on record is Irene in 2005, which became a tropical storm on Aug. 7.
There have been a total of 40 I-named storms since naming began, and they are notorious for being retired. Eleven I-names from the Atlantic storm lists have been retired, the most out of any other letter in the alphabet.
Several waves are following behind the tropical low currently in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Many of these waves could have a chance at becoming better organized as we head into early August, despite the fact that the peak of the Atlantic tropical season, on average, takes place during late August to early September.
"The atmosphere over the next week or more favors a general rising motion in the Atlantic Ocean, which can, combined with strong tropical waves coming off of Africa, be quite favorable for development of systems," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alan Reppert.
Reppert added that a tropical wave pushed off the coast of Africa on Sunday, with a low chance that it could form into another organized tropical system later this week.
The 10th and 11th names on this year's tropical list, should they be needed, are Josephine and Kyle.
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