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Norcross: A tropical logjam in the Atlantic while a moisture surge heads for Florida

Atlantic tropics satellite image.
Atlantic tropics satellite image. (WPLG)

Three tropical systems are bottled up near Africa with a fourth in the wings, scheduled to make its arrival mid to late next week. Meanwhile, an area of tropical moisture associated with an upper-level low pressure system is moving toward Florida, which should cause thunderstorms over the peninsula to be especially heavy tomorrow and Monday.

The upper-level low currently over eastern Cuba will move toward South Florida over the weekend enhancing the likelihood of heavy thunderstorms. It will bring a surge of moisture with it, which will add to the mix of wetter-weather ingredients. At this point, there is no threat of this moisture surge developing into any organized system.

Omar has turned into the Little Depression that Could. It’s leading a pretty miserable life in the North Atlantic constantly battered by hostile upper winds and increasingly cold water temperatures, but it keeps making tropical-like thunderstorms so the National Hurricane Center keeps it on the board. That should all end by tomorrow, however, when Omar should lose its identity.

The congested tropical situation in the eastern Atlantic continues.

Tropical Disturbance #1 is barely recognizable in the clouds. Strong upper winds are tearing across its patch of the ocean between Africa and the Caribbean. It’s not going anywhere right now, but should eventually start to track east, deflected around its bigger brother, Tropical Disturbance #2.

Tropical Disturbance #1 might survive for a while, but with bigger, better-organized systems #2 and #3 in the area, it’s chances of pulling together are low. It or its remnants will pinball around the bigger systems for a while, however.

Tropical Disturbance #2 is forecast to slowly move to the west over the next few days. The steering flow has collapsed, but will reassert itself next week. Dry air just to the north should keep it from getting strong quickly, but it appears likely to become a tropical depression or tropical storm over the next several days.

Tropical Disturbance #3 should move off Africa tomorrow and follow #2 off toward the west. The long-range computer forecast models show that system developing into a tropical depression or tropical storm as well.

The next two names on the list are Paulette and Rene.

Long-range computer forecasts show a gap in the blocking high-pressure area that has been sprawled across the Atlantic this summer, which would provide a pathway north for these systems. But it’s all about timing, are the storms in place while the path is open? That’s what we’ll be watching for mid to late next week.

Another disturbance is forecast move off Africa following these systems, which is expected this time of year. Next Thursday is the peak day of hurricane season when the odds say we are most likely to have a named storm.

It looks like the odds will play out this year with a decent chance of having at least two named storms on the board, but nothing is expected to threaten the U.S. or the Bahamas through the middle of next week, at least.


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