It took a littler longer than we’ve seen in recent years, but the east Pacific finally has its first hurricane of the season: Dora.
Top winds are 85 mph and it is forecast to strengthen more as it moves west-northwest off the coast of Mexico. Fortunately, the small size of the hurricane will mean that very little impact will be felt along the Pacific coast of Mexico.
The forecast from the National Hurricane Center indicates a steady track to the west-northwest which will bring the hurricane over cooler waters, ultimately leading to its demise later this week. In fact, sea surface temperatures in the region are running below the long-term average by almost a full degree Celsius. This will equate to a quick weakening trend as the hurricane moves farther out in to the open Pacific.
In the Atlantic Basin, all is quiet for now. I will have a new video discussion posted later this afternoon which will address topics such as the weekly SST anomalies, current ENSO update and a look back at tropical storm Cindy and its impacts to the Gulf Coast and inland areas of the Southeast.
Radar animation showing the strong bands of rain and storms moving in off the Gulf of Mexico towards the northern Gulf Coast
Cindy has made a mess of things across a large swath of the Gulf Coast states with heavy rain, storm surge and even a few tornadoes being reported. It’s all part of the package when it comes to tropical systems, no matter how weak/strong they are.
In the overnight hours tonight, the main threat will continue to periods of very heavy rain and strong bands swing northward off the Gulf of Mexico and in to the northern Gulf Coast. You can see this on the radar animation that I have included with this update. Some of the cells could produce brief but strong tornadoes so please keep your NOAA Weather Radio handy or have a way to receive EAS alerts even while you’re asleep.
If you have travel plans across I-10 from FL to TX, please leave extra time in your schedule so as to be able to slow down during periods of heavy rain. Some of the bands can produce blinding rain, reducing visibility to near zero in an instant.
By tomorrow afternoon, the brunt of the storm will be inland over Louisiana and eastern Texas but the rain and severe weather threat will likely continue for a few more days as the remnant low pressure area moves across the eastern U.S.
I go over all of this in my latest video discussion which is posted below:
Tropical storm Bret has moved past the Windward Islands, doing so during the overnight hours last night. Winds have increased some to near 45 mph and the movement remains at a brisk pace of 21 mph. The track forecast from the NHC takes the storm just north of the coast of South America, likely passing through the “ABC Islands” of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. Interests there should expect a period of squally weather, including gusty winds and brief periods of very heavy rain and locally rough seas. Fortunately, the storm is moving fast and will clear the region in a very short period of time.
The future of Bret is likely going to short as well as upper level winds are not favorable for its continued viability. The official forecast shows Bret diminishing in intensity, eventually in to just a remnant low pressure area, in just a few days. We’ll watch and see how things play out but none of the reliable models suggest a threat to any land areas later on as the remnants of the storm move across the Caribbean Sea.
Meanwhile, what we’ve referred to as “93L” in the Gulf of Mexico is now what the NHC calls “Potential Tropical Cyclone Three” – about as close as you can get to having a named storm. It’s only a matter of time now as the latest advisory (8am ET) suggests that the system is getting better organized. I think that once we get a better look during daylight hours of the level center, the NHC will upgrade this to tropical storm Cindy later today.
I have prepared a video discussion covering both areas, you may view it by clicking the player below.
Note that I will be hitting the road for Louisiana and/or Texas later this morning for live coverage of the impacts from what will almost certainly be TS Cindy. I will be streaming the field mission live via our YouTube and Facebook Live channels. Be sure to follow on Twitter (@hurricanetrack) or get our app in the App Store (Hurricane Impact) for easy access to all of our coverage and updates on the go. I’ll embed the live video from YouTube here in a follow-up post just before I head out in a couple of hours. While on the road, I will continue to post video blogs as often as possible with live coverage continuing non-stop over the next several days.
Newly designated “potential tropical cyclone two” and the 5-day track map. What does this mean? Watch the video discussion to learn more.
It looks as though invest area 92L will go on to become a tropical storm at some point. The shower and thunderstorm activity associated with it has become better organized as today has progressed and as a result, the NHC has begun issuing advisories on it….even though it is not yet a tropical depression or a storm.
This new initiative by the NHC was slated for starting this season though I am sure not many people thought it would be implemented so soon, especially for a tropical wave out in the tropical Atlantic. This is certainly highly unusual to say the least.
I have prepared a special video discussion covering this developing situation which you may view below. I’ll have more coverage here tomorrow, including the latest concerning 93L in the NW Caribbean Sea – which is also forecast to strengthen further and likely become a tropical storm.
The hurricane season is getting off to a somewhat busy start. While we have not had a new named storm since the beginning of the season, that may be about to change.
Currently, the NHC is monitoring two areas for possible development. One is way out in the deep tropics and has been designated as invest area 92L. The other is a slowly organizing system in the western Caribbean that has potential for further development once it reaches the southern Gulf of Mexico.
I am most interested right now in 92L out in the deep tropics. It has the potential to become a tropical depression and maybe a tropical storm as it approaches the Windward Islands in about 5 days.
The Gulf system is less of a concern at the moment since it is unclear whether or not a low pressure area will ever actually take shape. Could be a large lop-sided area of showers and storms with some tropical storm force winds on the east side, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
I go over all of this and more in my video discussion for today which is posted below.