Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The latest on T.D. 16

At 11 p.m. Tuesday, tropical depression No. 16 was about 95 miles south of Havana and 290 miles southwest of Miami, moving northeast at 8 mph with top sustained winds of 35 mph.

On its projected path, the storm would pass over central Cuba, which could see up to 10 inches of rain, sometime late Tuesday, then gain strength and speed as it hits the Florida Straits.

Tropical storm warnings were posted Tuesday from Key West to Jupiter. Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Collier counties were also placed under flood watches.

Forecasters expected the system to strengthen enough overnight to earn the name Tropical Storm Nicole, but the chief concern was rain, not wind.

There could be buckets of it in South Florida, 4 to 8 inches overall, coming down in 2-inches-an-hour torrents at its most intense before tampering off Wednesday night.

Manatee should expect rainfall amounts of a tenth to a quarter of an inch county wide, along with maximum sustained winds of 10 mph and gusts up to 20 mph, according to Rick Davis, meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Ruskin office.

“We expect to see scattered and numerous showers and thunderstorms, and that’ll be for most of Wednesday and into Wednesday night,” said Davis, who added a drier weather pattern is expected to kick in for the rest of the week once the storms get through.

Much of Manatee received light amounts of rain Tuesday, except extreme East Manatee, which saw about 1.5 inches in spots, Davis said.

Tropical depression in Caribbean heads for Cuba

(AP) Cuba geared up for heavy rains and high winds from a tropical depression that formed in the northern Caribbean on Tuesday and was forecast to strengthen before plowing across the island and racing northward toward Florida.

The storm was centered about 160 miles south of Havana on Tuesday afternoon and it was moving north-northeast at 10 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. Its projected path would take it directly over the Cuban capital and surrounding provinces.

A tropical storm warning was in effect from Matanzas eastward to Ciego de Avila in Cuba, as well as the northwestern and central Bahamas and in Florida from Jupiter Inlet to the Florida Keys.

Maximum sustained winds were 35 mph, but the depression was forecast to pick up steam and become a tropical storm within hours.

Cuba's chief meteorologist said the weather system was large but disorganized and the heaviest rains were expected to hit east of the storm's center in an area from Matanzas to Las Tunas in eastern Cuba.

"This is a very weak system," Jose Rubiera said. He forecast that top wind speeds would rise to no more than 50 mph. "Those winds will not cause any damage, except possibly to sensitive crops or weak structures."

He said he was more concerned about the rains, which could be intense in some areas.

While the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season has been unusually active, Tuesday's storm is the first to directly threaten Cuba. The island was devastated by three hurricanes in 2008, but was entirely spared last year.

Target Florida?: 'Nicole' may be taking shape in NW Caribbean (UPDATED

 UPDATED, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- As of 8 a.m. EDT, there remain an 80 percent chance that the system would develop into a tropical cyclone within the next 48 hours.

"This system has the potential to become a tropical or subtropical cyclone before merging with a frontal system near the Florida peninsula by late tomorrow," the National Hurricane Center said in its latest advisory. "An Air Force reserve unit hurricane hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate this system later today."


As of 5:10 a.m. EDT, the National Hurricane Center said that with "only a little more organization," a system of thunderstorms in the northwestern Caribbean Sea would turn into a tropical depression or tropical storm.

"Interests in Cuba, the Cayman Islands, the Florida Keys and the central and southern Florida peninsula should monitor the progress of this system," an advisory states.

If the system develops into a tropical storm, it will be named "Nicole."

Here's what the latest computer models say about the system's possible tracks.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Forecaster: New system may threaten Florida

Hurricane watchers are keeping a wary eye on "disorganized" cloudiness and thunderstorms in the northwestern Caribbean extending east from what was Tropical Storm Matthew, with at least one forecaster predicting it will turn into Tropical Storm and/or Hurricane Nicole and possibly head towards Florida -- albeit on the opposite side of the Sunshine State from Bradenton.

Here are the words of caution from Accuweather.com:
The northwestern Caribbean seems to be the favorable spot for development over the next 24 to 48 hours and lies in the heart of AccuWeather.com Hurricane Expert Joe Bastardi's concern area through October.

A developing southerly steering flow over eastern North America would guide that system northward across Cuba and into Florida at midweek then northward along the rest of the Atlantic Seaboard during the second half of the week.

Cities from Miami to Jacksonville, Raleigh, Richmond, Washington, D.C., New York City and Boston may be affected with a blast of heavy rain from south to north with the on-deck tropical system.

Along the Atlantic Seaboard, a strong flow of air, known as wind shear, may limit the strength of such a system.
However, even a mere tropical storm can produce excessive rainfall and locally gusty winds.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Will Manatee have to worry about Matthew?

Manatee County has escaped the wrath of the tropics thus far this hurricane season.

Computer models last week, however, gave a hint that Tropical Storm Matthew could impact Florida.

What about now?

Forecasters just don’t know.

Matthew weakened to a tropical depression Saturday along the coast of Belize, dousing the southern part of the Central American country and neighboring Guatemala with rain that caused flooding in coastal areas.

BayNews9 meteorologist Diane Kacmarik said the computer models now look like a “pretty little flower,” with lines going out in all directions.

The remnants of the tropical depression are expected to be practically stationary over the next day or two. After that, forecasters can only speculate.

Kacmarik said a disturbance could form in the Caribbean in the trail of Matthew, but no computer models have anything on that just yet.

On Saturday afternoon, Matthew had maximum sustained winds of 35 mph and was moving inland toward Guatemala and southern Mexico at about 14 mph.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Matthew could unleash 6 to 10 inches of rain, with as much as 15 inches possible in some areas in Belize, Guatemala and Mexico.

Meanwhile, far out over the Atlantic, Hurricane Lisa weakened to a tropical storm and was drifting slowly north with maximum sustained winds near 50 mph.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Tropical Storm Matthew could threaten Florida

If Matthew really is a possible threat to Florida, the latest computer models say any impact is still days away.

As of 8 a.m. EDT, here's the National Hurricane Center's current advisory.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

'Lisa' is Atlantic's newest tropical storm

Tropical Storm Lisa has been born in the Atlantic Ocean.

The National Hurricane Center said Lisa was located about 530 miles west-northwest of the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa. Maximum sustained winds were 40 mph, and the storm was moving north at 5  mph.

"A turn towards the north-northwest with a slight decrease in forward speed is forecast on Wednesday, followed by a turn toward the west-northwest on Thursday," the Hurricane Center said in a statement issued at 5 a.m. EDT.

Forecasts can change, but here's a map reflecting what current computer models are saying about Lisa's projected path.

Lisa is the 12th named storm of the current hurricane season.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Igor has slammed into Canada.

Monday, September 20, 2010

'High' chance new system turns into 'Lisa'

The season's newest tropical storm/hurricane may be taking shape in the eastern Atlantic Ocean, according to the National Hurricane Center.

As of 8 a.m. today, there was an 80 percent, or "high," chance that an area of low pressure about 400 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands would develop into a tropical storm within 48 hours as it moves slowly to the northwest.

Most early computer models have the system -- it will be named "Lisa" if it becomes a tropical storm and/or hurricane -- not posing a threat to Florida.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Igor and Tropical Storm Julia are heading towards the north Atlantic.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Weaker Igor still has Bermuda in its sights

Hurricane Igor is churning its way toward an expected Sunday night brush of Bermuda.

At this hour, the storm has sustained winds of 115 mph and is moving pretty methodically at a forward speed of 9 mph.

Igor's forecast track has remained steady over the past few days, with the storm expected to pass just to the east of the island nation.

Find the latest maps and info on Igor here.

Here's a video posted on YouTube of sites around Bermuda on Thursday. We're thinking it'll look much different Sunday.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bermuda square in Igor's path

The five-day forecast track for Hurricane Igor doesn't bode well for Bermuda. The Category 4 storm's projected path passes just to the east of the island.

But even a glancing blow from Igor is expected to be painful. Why? This storm is huge.

Tropical storm-force winds extend 225 miles from the center of circulation, but it's more than that. Check out this story from the Weather Channel's website. It reports that Igor's cirrus cloud canopy is equivalent to the distance of Dallas to New York City.

Another concern: Although Igor is expected to dropped in strength, it is expected to grow in size.

For now, Bermuda can just watch and wait. Until Sunday. That's when Igor is expected to strike or make that glancing blow.

Read the Bermuda Sun newspaper's latest Igor story here.

Find video of Igor from the International Space Station here.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Here's Karl; plus more on Julia

Tropical Storm Karl has formed in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the 5 p.m. advisory from the National Weather Service. A storm warning also has been issued for parts of the Mexican coast.

Find maps, forecasts, particulars on Karl here.

Julia, meanwhile, is a minimal hurricane with 85 mph winds at this hour, and moving west-northwestward over the far eastern tropical Atlantic.

Find maps, forecasts, particulars on Julia here.

What's in store for Cat. 4 Igor?

Igor is a monster Category 4 hurricane this afternoon and it’s on a path that could take it dangerously close to Bermuda this weekend, reports AccuWeather.com.

Live on the island or soon traveling there? Take heed, watch your forecasts and be ready to take appropriate action.

Through the end of the week, Igor will remain a powerful storm over the open waters of the Atlantic, passing well north of the Leeward Islands, but still bringing increased waves and swells to the region.

Forecasts call for Igor to remain a Category 4 hurricane over the next day or two.

It should weaken toward the weekend as it starts moving over cooler waters and into stronger wind shear.

Whenever and wherever it passes by Bermuda on Friday night into early Saturday, it’s expected to be at Category 2 or Category 3 strength.

Damaging winds, flooding, rain, extremely rough surf and a storm surge could all be major problems for the island if Igor passes close enough, reports AccuWeather.com, which adds that will be especially true if the eye tracks just to the west of Bermuda, putting the island in the right front quadrant of the storm, where winds are strongest and the storm surge is highest.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Igor threatens to become Category 5

Powerful Hurricane Igor threatened to become a Category 5 storm Monday as it churned far out over the Atlantic Ocean.

Igor was at Category 4 strength with maximum sustained winds near 150 mph (240 kph). But the National Hurricane Center in Miami said Igor could reach Category 5 strength later in the day.

Igor was located about 940 miles (1,515 kilometers) east of the Northern Leeward Islands and was moving west near 13 mph (20 kph). A turn toward the west-northwest was expected Monday night or Tuesday, the hurricane center said.

Also in the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Julia was moving westward, away from the southern Cape Verde Islands. Julia was about 85 miles (130 kilometers) west-southwest of the southernmost islands and moving west-northwest near 14 mph (23 kph). The storm's maximum sustained winds were near 40 mph (65 kph).

Officials issued a tropical storm warning for parts of the Cape Verde Islands including Maio, Sao Tiago, Fogo and Brava.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hurricane Igor hits Category 4

Hurricane Igor is living up to its name after rapidly intensifying into a monster Category 4 hurricane Sunday afternoon. The storm could easily become the strongest hurricane of the season to date, AccuWeather reports.

The map is courtesy of Weather Underground at its 5 p.m. update. While Igor poses no threat to land over the next few days, people in Bermuda, Atlantic Canada and along the East Coast should keep track of this storm for potential impacts next weekend and beyond.

The AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center reports that Igor's maximum sustained winds were estimated to have increased to 140 mph late Sunday afternoon as the storm headed westward over the south-central Atlantic.

Igor is expected to remain a Category 4 hurricane throughout this upcoming week and could even reach Category 5 status for a time.

Friday, September 10, 2010

System in Caribbean may be next tropical storm

There is a "medium" chance that a low pressure system over the Windward Islands in the Caribbean Sea could develop into a tropical storm within the next 48 hours, according to a National Hurricane Center advisory issued at 8 a.m. this morning.

The system was producing showers and thunderstorms, and appeared to becoming better organized, according to the report.

"Some slow development of this disturbance is possible over the next couple of days as it moves westward to west-northwestward at around 5 mph," the advisory states.

According to maps posted at WeatherUnderground.com, various models differ on where the system may be heading, but one model currently has it crossing eastern Cuba and taking aim at South Florida.

However, an "ensemble model" had the storm heading to landfall in Central America.

If the system is the next to develop as a tropical storm, it will be named Julia.

Meanwhile, Igor had regained strength and was again classified as a tropical storm.

The Hurricane Center in Miami says the storm could become a hurricane by Sunday. Igor remained far from land and was about 465 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands.

Most models had the storm continuing west but then turning north long before it approaches Florida.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tropical Storm Igor forms in the Atlantic.

UPDATED, 11:40 a.m. EDT - Tropical Storm Igor is born. The computer models below remain unchanged.
A "well-defined low pressure area" far, far away near Africa could turn into a tropical depression over the next day or so, and there's a 70 percent chance it will turn into the next tropical storm of this hurricane season as it moves westward, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The system already was producing showers and thunderstorms, and its development will increase as strong upper-level winds above it dissipate.

As of 8 a.m. EDT, the system was located just south of the southernmost Cape Verde Islands and heading west at about 10 mph to 15 mph.

Meanwhile, there was zero chance that disorganized showers and thunderstorms a couple hundred miles southeast of the Dominican Republic -- the remnants of what once was Gaston -- would redevelop into a cyclone, according to forecasters.

It may be too early to start worrying, but here's what computers are saying now about to where the system is heading, according Weather Underground.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tropics are relatively quiet

Hermine, we hardly knew you, and that's more than OK.

Hermine, a fast-developing tropical storm now dumping heavy rains on South Texas, didn't ruin our Labor Day holiday. And according to the National Hurricane Center, there's little on the immediate horizon to worry about.

Still, this is the peak of hurricane center, so we bring you a map showing three areas of disturbance being tracked by forecasters.

From left to right:

  • Disturbance No. 1 - Cloudiness and showers associated with remnants of Gaston are hovering over the Leeward Islands and the northeastern Caribbean. There is a 10 percent, or "low," chance that the system will become a cyclone over the next 48 hours as it moves westward.
  • Disturbance No. 2 -A weak area of low pressure about 350 miles west of the nothernmost Cape Verde Islands is producing disorganized cloudiness and showers. There is a 10 percent chance of it becoming a cyclone over the next 48 hours as it moves westward about about 10 mph.
  • Disturbance No. 3 - Showers and thunderstorms located between the Cape Verde Islands and the West Coast of Africa are associated with a tropical wave that is developing. There is 10 percent chance the system turns into a cyclone during the next 48 hours.
The next three storms strong enough to earn names will be Igor, Julia and Karl.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

11 p.m update on Earl

The center of Earl is passing just east of the Outer Banks of North Carolina at this hour with maximum sustained winds down to a still-hefty 105 mph.

Forecasters still expect a turn to the northeast with an increase in forward speed. A gradual weakening is also expected as it reaches cooler waters.

Find all the latest maps, forecasts and particulars on Earl here.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Earl back up to Cat. 4; watches, warnings extended up Eastern Seaboard

Hurricane Earl has ratcheted back up to Cat. 4 strength with 135 mph winds, according to a 5 p.m. advisory from the National Weather Service.

Hurricane and tropical storm watches and warnings now blanket the Eastern Seaboard from North Carolina to Massachusetts.

A hurricane warning (hurricane conditions expected within 36 hours) is in effect for:

* Bogue Inlet, N.C., northeastward to the North Carolina/Virginia border

A hurricane watch (hurricane conditions possible within 48 hours) is in effect for:
* North of the North Carolina/Virginia border to Cape Henlopen, Del.
* Woods Hole to Sagamore Beach, Mass., including Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.

A tropical storm warning (tropical storm conditions expected within 36 hours) is in effect for:
* From Cape Fear to west of Bogue Inlet in North Carolina.
* From North Carolina/Virginia border to Sandy Hook, N.J., including Delaware Bay south of Slaughter Beach and the Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort.

A tropical storm watch (tropical storm condition possible within 48 hours) is in effect for:
* Sandy Hook, N.J., to Woods Hole, Mass., including Block Island and Long Island Sound.
* North of Sagamore Beach to the mouth of the Merrimack River, Mass.

Seventh named storm of season forms

Gaston, with 40 mph winds, has formed in the far Atlantic, the National Weather Service said in a 5 p.m. advisory. It poses no immediate threat to any land.

N.C. declares state of emergency ahead of Earl

North Carolina's governor declared a state of emergency Wednesday as evacuation of the coast ahead of Hurricane Earl continues.

Earl's strongest winds are expected to reach the coast Thursday night into Friday morning. Perdue warned residents along the Outer Banks to leave those areas immediately.
Already, hundreds of cars were backed up in traffic on N.C. Highway 12, the sole link between the fragile barrier islands and the mainland.
At 2 p.m., Earl's winds were topping out at 125 mph, less than the 135 mph it had reached earlier this week during its trek across the Atlantic. An Air Force reconnaissance plane, however, indicated that the storm appeared to be re-strengthening, and could reach Category 4 status by later today.
Earl was quickly moving at 17 mph toward the northwest, a motion expected to continue until a gradually turning the north Thursday.
Hurricane-force winds extend 90 miles from the center of circulation, and tropical storm-force winds extend outward 200 miles.

The next update from the National Weather Service is due at 5 p.m.

Find the latest maps, advisories and particulars on Earl here.