Watching a Tropical Triangle

By By Alex Sosnowski, expert senior meteorologist.
October 10, 2011, 2:05:22 AM EDT

Share this article: meteorologists are not concerned so much about the Bermuda Triangle, but rather a different area associated with rough weather into next week.

While Philippe became a hurricane Thursday midday over the open waters of the central Atlantic, it is not expected to impact North America, Bermuda or the Antilles.

However, a triangular-shaped area from the central Gulf of Mexico to the northwestern Caribbean to Atlantic waters around the Bahamas will continue to be watched this weekend into next week. Florida is in the middle of the area being monitored.

Although showers and thunderstorms are currently disorganized in this zone, conditions will become more favorable for modest tropical activity in coming days.

According to Tropical Weather and Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski, "A broad area of low pressure is expected to form over the Caribbean and to then work northward, contrasting with a large high pressure area over the eastern United States this weekend."

"The pressure difference will cause east to northeasterly winds to increase from Florida and the Bahamas northward to the Carolina coast into next week," Kottlowski added.

This weekend, while atmospheric pressure will be high in the Northeast, it will steadily lower in the neighborhood of Florida southwestward to the northwestern Caribbean.

Initially, the flow of moisture off the Atlantic generated by the pattern in itself will add progressively more clouds and showers to the Florida Peninsula.

The showers will then expand northward as the flow continues and atmospheric pressure lowers in the region.

Stiff winds will generate rough seas from the Florida Straits to Cape Hatteras and pose a danger to small craft.

According to Meteorologist Mark Mancuso, "The strengthening onshore flow will create rough surf and increase the rip currents from the Atlantic coast of Florida to the Carolinas into next week."


Sometimes it is a matter of chance where the lowest pressure and circulation (storm center) will form in a situation like this.

It is possible such a low pressure area could develop tropical characteristics with time.

While there are a lot of unknowns with the actual track of such a feature next week, look for unsettled, rainy, windy conditions to expand northward from Florida into more of the southeastern U.S. Unlike the Northeast, rain is needed in much of this area.

There are some indications that rain from this feature could spill into the Northeast later next week, abbreviating the dry weather pattern that has already begun.

The magnitude of that rain, along with any flooding produced by it, will depend on the speed, nature and intensity of any system that emerges from this "tropical triangle."

Incidentally, the Bermuda Triangle is an area in the Atlantic that stretches from Miami to Bermuda to Puerto Rico believed by some people to contain an unusual clustering of unexplained disappearances of ships and aircraft over the years.

Perhaps the disappearances have more to do with the rapidly changing weather conditions in the region. However, that is a topic of discussion for another time.

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