79ºF

Tropical Storm Edouard plus two systems to watch

July 6, 2020, satellite image of the tropics.
July 6, 2020, satellite image of the tropics. (TropicalTidbits.com)

The National Hurricane Center is tracking three disturbances. Two were born of the same broad area of low pressure over the Southeast U.S. The third disturbance is a strong tropical wave that moved off Africa late last week.

The first daughter system of the Southeast low-pressure area is now Tropical Storm Edouard, which is speeding off into the North Atlantic. It’s only interesting because it adds a named storm to the 2020 scorecard, and because it is the earliest-developing “E” storm in the record book. It will likely be absorbed by a North Atlantic frontal system by tomorrow at the latest, and is not a threat to land.

A small swirl we were tracking in the northern Gulf of Mexico has moved over the Florida Panhandle near Tallahassee. It’s the second daughter system spawned by the broad area of low pressure and old front across the Southeast. The swirl is just part of the process that might lead to our next organized system.

In a couple of days, the swirl combined with the parent low-pressure system are forecast to consolidate into a larger system near the coastline of the Carolinas. This combo system appears to have a better chance of organizing as it heads north along or just offshore of the East Coast into the end of the week before being swept out to sea around the weekend.

Neither of these systems come from tropical roots. The National Hurricane Center is interested in them because they have or could have a tropical-enough structure, so they qualify. None of this is related to the real hurricane season, which normally begins in August.

The third system is several hundred miles east of the southern Caribbean islands. It’s a robust disturbance, which is plowing west just below the Saharan Dust plume that stretches across the tropical Atlantic, the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. There’s a slight chance it could gain some organization before it reaches the islands tomorrow. But most likely it will pass by as a moisture surge producing some tropical downpours with gusty winds.

This is the type of purely tropical system we track especially closely. Tropical waves like this are the seeds for tropical storms and hurricanes.

This one, however, only has a short window of time before it gets to the islands when it could gain some organization. Late in the week, the system will pass over Central America and move into the Pacific Ocean. It may well strengthen into a tropical storm there.

Moisture from this disturbance may be drawn north across South Florida over the weekend while the main part of the disturbance heads west into the Pacific.

Through the rest of the tropical belt from Africa to the Gulf, dust is forecast to dominate. That should prevent significant development through this week, at least. 

In the meantime, some extra-strong, afternoon thunderstorms will continue in South Florida.

July 6, 2020, 5 a.m. advisory of Tropical Storm Edouard.
July 6, 2020, 5 a.m. advisory of Tropical Storm Edouard. (www.HurricaneIntel.com)

About the Author: