The Caribbean system could become a hurricane threat for Florida


As Hurricane Fiona heads north and Tropical Storm Gaston meanders through the Atlantic, a system currently in the Caribbean is drawing attention to long-range forecasts that could bring it closer to Florida by the end of the day. next week.

The National Hurricane Center continues to issue advisories on the two named storms, including strong Category 4 Hurricane Fiona that could pose a threat to Bermuda, but it also keeps ratings on three systems that could become the next low or tropical storm.

Topping the list is a tropical wave with showers and thunderstorms already bringing heavy rain and gusty winds to the southern Windward Islands and soon Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, northwest Venezuela and northeast east of Colombia.

“The environment should become more favorable for development and a tropical depression should form in the next few days. The low is expected to move west-northwestward and lie over the central Caribbean Sea this weekend, where conditions should be favorable for further development,” said marine expert Lisa Bucci. hurricanes at the NHC.

The system is expected to move west-northwestward and lie in the central Caribbean this weekend. The NHC gives him a 90% chance of training within two days, and 90% within five days. The NHC said a tropical depression is expected to form over the next two days as it moves west-northwest at 10 to 15 mph across the central Caribbean Sea.

Long-term forecasting modelsoften called the spaghetti patterns, have different pathways for the system, but many expect it to cross Cuba and threaten Florida by next week.

National Hurricane Center acting director Jamie Rhome, however, urged caution over the speculation, but said it was likely to become a hurricane while still in the Caribbean Sea.

“What we can say is that conditions look favorable for this system to develop into a tropical storm as it moves west-northwestward over the central Caribbean Sea,” he said. he declared. “And conditions look favorable to potentially become a hurricane here in the northwest Caribbean Sea. That’s as far as we can go at this point.

He pointed out that the system, which interacts with land around South America, could impact its formation and eventual trajectory.

“While a low level circulation is trying to form…it’s not there yet and why is it important? Why is it so important to focus? Because the predictability of systems that haven’t not yet formed is very, very low,” he said. “And I want to emphasize that because that’s why we can’t say too much about the potential impacts in the Gulf of Mexico, because until until this system actually forms and becomes a well-defined name system, the ability of models the ability of humans to predict where it will go is just really, really, really low.

Still, what are often referred to as spaghetti patterns have piqued the interest of Florida officials.

“Looks like it’s going to end up being a major hurricane,” said National Weather Service Miami spokesman Will Redman.

A major hurricane is rated Category 3 or higher.

Redman said the current track in this long-range forecast shows the center of the storm anywhere between Florida’s west coast and New Orleans, while the area facing the brunt of the force of the hurricane would probably be the Florida Panhandle.

If a hurricane develops, it will likely form Monday or Tuesday of next week, Redman said.

The NHC also tracks two other systems with a lower chance of formation.

Closer to Florida in the central tropical Atlantic, but less likely, is a large area of ​​low pressure several hundred kilometers west-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. It features disorganized showers and thunderstorms, but is in what the NHC says only marginal environmental conditions.

“Despite marginal environmental conditions, slow development of this system is possible over the next few days as it moves slowly northwest or north over the tropical Atlantic,” Bucci said.

The NHC gives a 20% chance of forming within the next two days and a 30% chance within the next five.

Farther out but more likely to form is a tropical wave off the west coast of Africa with showers and thunderstorms now over the warm waters of the far eastern Atlantic Ocean.

“Environmental conditions should be favorable for some development, and a tropical depression could form by this weekend as the system slowly moves north between West Africa and the Cape Islands. -Green,” Bucci said.

Chances are 60% for formation in the next two to five days.

Whichever system achieves sustained winds of 39 mph or more would take the name Tropical Storm Hermine, with the next names on the hurricane list being Ian and Julia.

The biggest storm in the Atlantic, however, is Hurricane Fiona, which is now heading north and is expected to pass through Bermuda and target Canada.

As of 8 p.m., the NHC places its center about 280 miles west-southwest of Bermuda, which is currently under a hurricane warning and where weather conditions began to deteriorate this afternoon. It remains a major Category 4 hurricane with winds of 130 mph and stronger gusts tracking north-northeast at 20 mph. Hurricane force winds extend 70 miles with tropical storm force winds extend 275 miles.

The Canadian Hurricane Center issues hurricane watches for Nova Scotia, from Hubbards to Brule, Prince Edward Island, Île-de-la-Madeleine and the coast of Newfoundland, from Parson’s Pond in Indian Harbour. It also issued tropical storm watches for other sections of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland as well as parts of New Brunswick and Quebec.

While not a threat to Florida, Fiona’s swell is spreading westward and could bring life-threatening surf and rip conditions to the US East Coast, including Florida and the Bahamas.

“It is not advisable to enter waves,” read a statement on the dangerous conditions from the National Weather Service in Melbourne, noting that the seas were also expected to be rough when issuing a small craft advisory with waves. over 6 feet.

It is expected to accelerate and develop into a powerful post-tropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds as it moves over Nova Scotia this weekend.

Further out in the Atlantic is Tropical Storm Gaston, which has some of the Azores islands under a tropical storm warning.

As of 5 p.m., the NHC places the center of Gaston approximately 245 miles northwest of the island of Faial in the central Azores with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph moving east-northeast at 17mph. Its tropical storm force winds extend for 115 miles.

The system is expected to weaken over the next few days and then move south and east as it transitions into a post-tropical cyclone.

Since September 1, the tropics have begun to catch up by producing four named storms in three weeks after nearly two months of calm.

In early August, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration updated its seasonal forecast that 2022 would still be above average with 14 to 21 named storms, although no named storms formed in August. .

The 2020 hurricane season set a record with 30 systems named, while the 2021 season was the third busiest with 21 systems named. An average year calls for 14 named storms.

Thanks to Gaston, 2022 produced seven named systems.

Sun-Sentinel staff writers contributed to this report.

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