Hurricane Season 2014: Cristobal No Threat, but Disturbances Lining Up in the Atlantic

Categories: Hurricanes

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Weather Underground
Another tropical disturbance lines up in the Atlantic.
Tropical Storm Cristobal continued to strengthen over the weekend as it headed north through the Bahamas. While it is expected to grow gradually into a hurricane, it will not be a threat to the U.S. Nevertheless, it killed three in the Caribbean with torrential rains and the flooding that accompanied them. As those of us who lived through Tropical Storm Allison remember, it doesn't have to reach hurricane strength to cause devastation.

While Cristobal may not pose a threat to our area of the Gulf, or the U.S. in general, there continue to be reasons to remain concerned about tropical weather throughout the Atlantic Basin. A new disturbance designated Invest 97L has moved west of the Cape Verde Islands out into the Atlantic. It is not expected to develop for several days but could once it gets closer to the Caribbean, much like Cristobal.

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Hurricane Season 2014: New Disturbance in the Atlantic Heading for Caribbean

Categories: Hurricanes

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Weather Underground
Invest 96L might not make it out of the Caribbean alive.
As I've noted previously, we are now in the peak of hurricane season as we move through August and September, and the Atlantic Basin is certainly beginning to demonstrate that fact. A disturbance that the National Hurricane Center has classified as "96L" is moving westward towards the Lesser Antilles and is expected to be in the Caribbean by the end of the week. The NHC is giving the disturbance a 50 percent chance of developing into a tropical depression in the next few days and a hurricane hunter plane is scheduled to fly into the storm Thursday afternoon if it continues its development.

All the reliable forecast models are calling for a gradual west-northwest turn once it reaches the Caribbean. Forecasters are also predicting the storm will reach tropical depression strength just south of Puerto Rico. After that, things get dicey.

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Hurricane Season 2014: Time is Now to Watch the Tropics

Categories: Hurricanes

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National Hurricane Center
Almost entirely quiet...for now.
With the exception of a tropical wave off the coast of Africa, all is relatively quiet in the Atlantic Basin, but what is it they always say about when it is calm? The fact is we have now entered the height of hurricane season for those of us who live with that sort of thing every year along the Gulf Coast. For the next six weeks, we are faced with the most precarious time of the year to be a coastal dweller.

Our current tropical wave is well out into the Atlantic and doesn't appear likely to be a threat even if it manages to survive its trip to the Caribbean, which is questionable. There is another disturbance moving off of Africa that has some promise, however, and no doubt there will be more behind that.

As storms begin to line up like that, we know we have reached the heart of the season because it means ocean temperatures are warm enough to support developing storms, but more than that is required.

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Hurricane Season 2014: Atlantic Quiet, but Hawaii About to Get Back-to-Back Hurricanes

Categories: Hurricanes

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Weather Underground
Lining them up in the Pacific.
Living along the coast, and living in the continental U.S., for that matter, we sometimes forget that there is one part of our country vulnerable to Pacific hurricanes. California almost never sees a hit from a storm since the movement of tropical weather in the Pacific, as in the Atlantic, is east to west. But Hawaii is right smack in the middle of the Pacific, currently in the path of not one but two hurricanes, the first storms of that size that, if they were to hit, would be the first to reach Hawaii in 22 years.

In fact, there are four named storms in the Pacific at the moment and another promising area of weather just off the coast of Mexico. The increase in storms this year is likely the result of the El Niño event occurring in the southeastern Pacific. While the winds it generates tend to inhibit growth of storms across the Atlantic, it can destabilize the weather in the Pacific, causing active hurricane seasons.

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Hurricane Season 2014: Hurricane Bertha Has Arrived

Categories: Hurricanes

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National Hurricane Center
Bertha isn't (and won't likely be) all that big.
Before digging too deeply into what is going on with hurricane number two of this Atlantic Hurricane Season, can we talk for just a moment about why someone thought Bertha was a good name for a hurricane? I guess if it grew very large, there could be quips about "Big Bertha" from the media. I could imagine Weather Channel bodybuilder and hurricane daredevil Jim Cantore standing on some wind blown street yelling into the mic, "Big Bertha is beating me like a red headed step child." Sure, it's cinematic, but Bertha?

Anyway, Hurricane Bertha is the second in this 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season, but it doesn't appear that it will cause much trouble for the U.S. or any land mass for that matter.

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Hurricane Season 2014: Atlantic System No Serious Threat

Categories: Hurricanes

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Weather Underground
No real threat to us.
Invest 93L, as designated by the National Hurricane Center, is not terribly impressive. Despite predictions it would be nearing tropical storm strength by now, it has floundered, fighting with dry air in the area north of the storm and high wind shear. Would be Tropical Storm Bertha is simply not all that impressive at the moment.

In fact, the NHC has lowered its previous forecast for 93L to only a 40 percent chance of development. As the disturbance moves west northwest over the next two days, it should encounter more favorable conditions, which increases the likelihood of development. Even if that happens, there is a good chance it will interact with land in the northern Caribbean, slowing its progress.

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Hurricane Season 2014: Tropics Finally Heating Up as August Approaches

Categories: Hurricanes

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Weather Underground
Forecast prediction models for Invest 93L.
The National Hurricane Center has designated and area of low pressure in the eastern Atlantic as Invest 93L. It gives these designations throughout hurricane season to make note of systems that have the potential to develop. It is currently giving 93L a 40 percent chance of developing into a tropical depression in the next few days as it moves westward towards the Lesser Antilles.

Of the primary reliable forecast models, only one is predicting 93L will not develop leaving the NHC to conclude there is greater likelihood 93L could be a depression or possibly Tropical Storm Bertha by this weekend.

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Hurricane Season 2014: Tropical Depression No. 2 Not Long for This World

Categories: Hurricanes

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Star Trek's No. 2 is a lot tougher than the depression in the Atlantic.
The tiny tropical depression -- the second of the 2014 hurricane season -- continues to speed westward toward the Caribbean, but with each passing day, it is losing the characteristics of a storm rather than gaining strength. Despite having some relatively good conditions, No. 2 is looking pretty raggedy, and rather inhospitable conditions await it as it continues west.

With higher wind shear and stable air forecast to remain over the eastern Caribbean, it is unlikely No. 2 will survive more than a couple more days before dissipating entirely.

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Hurricane Seasons 2014: Second Tropical Depression of the Year Spins Up in the Atlantic

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Tropical Depression Two's status after a few days is in doubt.
With less than two weeks remaining in July, the 2014 hurricane season, we have our second storm of the year in the Atlantic. The peak of the season is in the second week of September, but the end of July is generally when things begin to heat up over the Atlantic Basin.

This second depression of the year -- Hurricane Arthur battered the east coast of the U.S. over the July 4 weekend -- is small, fairly weak and sitting over relatively cool waters. In fact, the most reliable forecast models are not calling for the depression to intensify and the National Hurricane Center is actually predicting it will dissipate not long after it reaches the Caribbean in a couple days.

Given the predictions earlier in the year of a strong El Niño event in the Pacific Ocean, which normally stifles the formation of hurricanes throughout the Atlantic Basin, the year so far is shaping up as expected, but there is still nearly 10 weeks remaining in the heart of hurricane season.

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Hurricane Season 2014: Tropical Storm Arthur Forms as the "Real" Season Begins

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Photo by Craig ONeal
Tropical Storm Fay pounding Florida in 2008. This is expected to be an easy hurricane season. But remember, it takes only one.
Tracking forecast for Tropical Storm Arthur.The first named tropical storm of 2014 formed in the Atlantic Ocean Monday. Tropical Storm Arthur formed off the coast of Florida and is expected to move gradually to the north and ultimately northeast over the next three to four days. Currently, forecasts are not calling for a landfall along the east coast (you don't have to panic, NYC) though Arthur is expected to reach at least category 1 hurricane strength as it passes the Carolinas, making for a rather wet and nasty weekend in that part of the country, particularly on the Outer Banks.

Thus marks the true beginning to hurricane season. June was very quiet in the tropical Atlantic, which was not surprising by this or any other year's standards. On average, about one named storm every other year forms in June. But, as the summer progresses and water temperatures began to warm up, it is time to cast a watchful eye on the tropics.

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