Prepare for the Storms of September

After Florence yesterday became the Atlantic season’s first major (Category 3 or higher) hurricane, additional tropical threats are likely for the United States, Central America and the Caribbean islands into mid-September.

“We may have as many as three named tropical systems in the Atlantic at the same time next week,” according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.

September is the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, and indications are that will be true to form with the potential for additional systems to form over the next couple of weeks. A parameter that tracks rising air in the tropics has the Atlantic basin in the red hot zone for tropical activity. Rising air is associated with storms.

While Florence is forecast to fluctuate in strength, most scenarios bring the system close enough to Bermuda and the Atlantic coast of the U.S. and Canada to have an impact beginning this weekend.

At this point in the hurricane season, ocean water temperatures in the tropical Atlantic are at their warmest point, while disturbances, known as tropical waves, roll frequently westward off the coast of Africa. This is known as the Cabo Verde or Cape Verde season.

The massive area from the African coast to the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and southern Atlantic coast bear most of the seeds for tropical storm formation in September. Indications are that two to three new tropical systems may bud and develop in the eastern and central Atlantic this weekend into next week.

“It is possible that at least one of these features will wander close to the Lesser Antilles during Tuesday or Wednesday (September 11-12) of next week,” Kottlowski says. “At the same time, Florence may be hitting Bermuda.”

The next names on the list of tropical storms in the Atlantic for the 2018 hurricane season are Helene, Isaac and Joyce.

It is too early to imply that any of these features will definitely threaten land but the basin is already significantly more active than it was a month ago and is likely to get even more active over the next couple of weeks.

Close to an average number of Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes is predicted by AccuWeather with 10-12 named systems. The 2018 season is slightly ahead of the average pace at this point. The seventh tropical storm typically forms on or about Sept. 16. Gordon, #7 in 2018, formed on Sept. 3. Of these, only three have become hurricanes.

Chris (#3) came close to becoming a major hurricane (Category 3). On average, there is usually one major hurricane by Sept 4. Florence reached Category 3 strength on Sept 5.

This story is from Scuttlebutt Sailing News.

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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