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Monday, 11:45 a.m.
We're now just a week away from the autumnal equinox (Sunday at 4:44 p.m. EDT), and yet at the same time we're also a week removed from the traditional peak of the hurricane season. After the region has been seemingly quiet for a good bit of August, we've recently seen three named storms patrol the Atlantic. Gabrielle move into Nova Scotia late last week. Humberto formed, grew into a hurricane, then fell apart, only to be upgraded back to a tropical storm as of the latest advisory out in the middle of nowhere in the Atlantic. Then, more recently, Ingrid formed over the southwest Gulf and made landfall earlier today, after becoming the second hurricane of the Atlantic season Saturday afternoon.
If you're keeping count, that's nine named storms and two hurricanes. And since we're just past the halfway point of the season, one would think we're far from done seeing more tropical storms and hurricanes over the coming weeks. There are three other waves in the Atlantic that bear watching, and it's my believe that over the next several days, we'll be cooking up another storm in the tropics.
The first of these waves is approaching the Leeward Islands:
There appears to be nothing terribly well organized with this feature, so any development with it should be slow. Ahead of it in the eastern Caribbean is another wave that is also not well organized, which is also undergoing some degree of upper-level wind shear. Lastly there is also a large area of disorganized shower and thunderstorm activity throughout the western Caribbean. Just like the other two, nothing appears imminent in terms of development, but given the time of the year, it would not be hard to imagine something developing from one of these waves in the coming days.
There are some computer forecasts that take one of these waves and bring it into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico. The Canadian, much like we saw with what ultimately became Gabrielle, is probably the most aggressive in terms of development, bringing a tropical storm slowly toward the northeast Gulf and the Florida coast by the middle of next week, if not sooner. It should be noted that the Canadian model, while correctly identifying the trouble spot, fared poorly in terms of the end game strength of Gabrielle. That would mean we might want to take its forecast of a tropical storm with something of a grain of salt! Still, the GFS and European models do bring some sort of weak tropical low into the same general area during the first half of next week.
All of this implies at least Florida should be expected some degree of rain, if not potentially excessive rain amounts.
While all of this is going on, the parade of fronts across the northern half of the country will continue unabated in the next week or two. One is now slipping toward the New England and mid-Atlantic coasts and will be followed by a chilly air mass for the next couple of days. Another front will come out of the northern Plains toward the Midwest later this week, ultimately reaching the East Coast later Saturday or Saturday night. Still another front appears likely to follow during the middle and latter stages of next week.
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