Chances for storm to form off Southeast coast going up

Satellite photo of invest area 90L off the coast of Florida

Satellite photo of invest area 90L off the coast of Florida

It looks like we may have a preseason named storm before too long. The NHC has increased the chances of development for what is now invest area 90L, just off the east coast of Florida. As of this morning, the odds were placed at 60% for either a subtropical or purely tropical storm to form over the next 48 hours or so.

As you can see from the satellite picture, the low pressure area is beginning to organize but it still has that spread out, subtropical look to it. This is common when seeing systems develop from non-tropical origins, especially this early in the (almost) season.

It is interesting to note that some of the computer models do suggest a quick transition in to a purely warm-core, tropical storm before it impacts the coast Friday or Saturday. Water temps are only just warm enough to support such a scenario but we have seen instances when storms have ramped up despite having less-than-ideal conditions to work with.

All that being said, it’s not the heart of the hurricane season and as such, we do not need to be concerned with a high-impact event. However, that is not saying that we need to downplay the impacts and ignore what ever forms off the coast.

At the beach, an increase in surf and associated rip-currents will be an issue from parts of Florida up through the mid-Atlantic. Check your local NWS site for more information specific to your area.

Breezy conditions are likely (winds are already picking up now here in Wilmington, NC where my office is) as the low takes shape and moves slowly northward. I suppose that there is at least a chance for tropical storm conditions in parts of the Carolinas along the immediate coast as we end the week. A lot will depend, obviously, on how well organized the storm becomes while over the warm water of the Gulf Stream.

The other impact will be rain, sometimes heavy as bands move onshore. This is likely to be more of a nuisance than a true flood threat. Any outdoor plans Friday and Saturday should take this in to consideration. We’re looking at a few inches of rain at the most since the system is likely to be rather shallow in terms of deep thunderstorm activity. This should help to keep the rain from being too heavy over a wide area.

The Hurricane Hunters will eventually investigate the area and we will know more about its structure and intensity at that point. This probably won’t be until tomorrow. Kind of ironic that they are touring in Myrtle Beach right now as part of the NHC’s East Coast Hurricane Awareness Tour. Timing could not be better, eh?

I’ll have more here tonight with a brief update. I’ll also post a video blog to our app, Hurricane Impact. If you haven’t opened it in a while, now is a good time. Check the video section later today, I will have the discussion posted by 1pm ET.

M. Sudduth 11:35 AM ET May 6


Subtropical storm Fay develops, should bring squalls to Bermuda late this weekend

Subtropical storm Fay tracking map from the NHC

Subtropical storm Fay tracking map from the NHC

We have another named storm to add to the rather shallow list for 2014: Fay. It is not a purely tropical storm, so it is being called “Subtropical Storm Fay”. I covered this designation and the reason behind it in my blog post from earlier today. The bottom line is that it is not quite the same structurally speaking as a pure tropical storm would be but the effects are very similar.


For Bermuda, Fay will mean an increase in wind, seas and squally weather. Because the wind field of a subtropical storm is more spread out and less uniform in nature, the effects will be felt far away from Fay’s center.

The forecast calls for Fay to strengthen a little more before being absorbed by a larger weather system over the northern Atlantic. Top winds are forecast to be around 50 mph and again, these will be seen far away from the low level center unless Fay can quickly consolidate and become a more typical tropical storm with winds focused more around the center. Either way, this is not going to be a big problem for Bermuda, we’re not talking about a hurricane or anything close to it at this point.

Elsewhere, two more areas bear watching in the Atlantic. One of them, invest area 90L, has the potential of becoming a hurricane as it tracks generally west-northwest this weekend. Several of the reliable global models are quite aggressive with development and so it will have to be watched closely.

I will have more here over the weekend with updates posted to our Twitter feed: @hurricanetrack

M. Sudduth 5:00 PM ET Oct 10