Tropical threats may pose hazards from western Caribbean to Florida well into October
By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
October 01, 2017, 1:42:38 AM EDT
Waters surrounding Central America, Cuba, the Bahamas, Mexico and the southeastern United States bear watching for tropical systems well into October.
While tropical threats originating from the coast of Africa that spawned hurricanes like Harvey, Irma and Maria will diminish in the coming weeks, the threat for near-coast tropical formation will increase.
Multiple factors will be in place that may favor several tropical systems to come about into the middle of October.
A zone of high pressure will extend from the southern Plains to off the mid-Atlantic and New England coasts.
A high pressure area represents a large batch of dry air that rotates clockwise. South of this high pressure zone, the air will remain moist, but east to northeasterly winds will develop.
As the east to northeasterly winds strengthen, they will help gradually add spin to the zone of moisture from the western Caribbean and the southern Gulf of Mexico to the southwestern Atlantic in the coming days.
An almost immediate and direct effect of the east to northeasterly winds will be to create rough surf, heavy seas and strong rip currents. Beach erosion will then ramp up along the east-facing shoreline, especially the southeastern U.S. coast and the Bahamas.
Early on, an area of disturbed weather will be worth watching as it meanders near Florida. Its main role will be to enhance rainfall.
"A much larger part of the atmosphere is likely to begin to spin near Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and western Cuba over the next couple of weeks," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Evan Duffey.
This large zone of spinning air may then give birth to smaller spin-off storms.
These spin-offs may stay over water and diminish or strengthen prior to drifting onto land in the United States, Mexico, Central America or some of the islands in the western Caribbean as October progresses.
In wake of catastrophic storms, is the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season more active than normal?
Electricity slowly returns to Puerto Rico as frantic rush to distribute aid continues
Tropical downpours may raise risk of flash flooding in Florida through Sunday
6 ways to prepare now for hurricanes
5 expert tips for protecting your home against hurricane damage
While most of these storms will tend to be on the lower end of the scale, such as tropical depressions or tropical storms, it is possible for one or more to develop into a hurricane despite close proximity to land.
While the strength of disruptive winds aloft will fluctuate over the next several weeks, there will be many episodes when these winds are light and will not inhibit tropical storm formation, according to AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok.
"We expect the risk of tropical storms and hurricanes to continue through much of the autumn this year, since we believe disruptive winds aloft will be weak or largely absent in the southwestern part of the Atlantic basin that includes much of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico," Pastelok said.
Waters over much of the region are very warm and likely to stay warm for many weeks.
The warm waters are well above the threshold for tropical development, sustainability and intensification should such a system catch hold.
Following Maria, AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski expects four more named tropical storms, of which three could become hurricanes and one more a Category 3 hurricane or stronger, into December.
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
More Weather News
Weather News - December 18, 2018, 8:37:39 PM EST
A powerful storm plowed into Washington state on Tuesday afternoon, bringing a tornado, high winds, heavy rain and heavy snow.
Weather News - December 18, 2018, 2:20:05 PM EST
A major storm that will plow into the eastern half of the United States late this week could throw a wrench into plans for early holiday travelers as well as holiday shipping.
Weather News - December 18, 2018, 4:55:12 PM EST
Expect more storms with heavy rain, heavy mountain snow and rough seas to lash the West Coast of the United States into Christmas Day.
Weather News - December 18, 2018, 10:48:58 AM EST
A slow-moving storm system will bring daily downpours to parts of the Middle East through Thursday.
As wildfires rage and threaten to destroy everything in their paths, we often hear that they are contained by a certain percentage.
Weather News - December 18, 2018, 2:42:41 PM EST
Following far-reaching snowstorms from November and early December, a lack of Arctic air will generally limit the chances of a white Christmas to the northern tier states and the mountains of the West for Dec. 25, 2018.
Fighting wildfires costs the United States billions of dollars each year. It turns out that humans have ignited a significant chunk of these destructive blazes.
Weather News - December 18, 2018, 9:24:30 AM EST
A stormy weather pattern is expected to persist across much of Europe through the Christmas holiday.