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Keeping an eye on the Gulf as Hurricane Larry is forecast to intensify in the Atlantic

Tropical Atlantic storm activity.
Tropical Atlantic storm activity. (WPLG)

Hurricane Larry is on a path to be a large and very strong hurricane in the tropical Atlantic between the Caribbean islands and Africa. Meanwhile, there’s a chance the Tropical Disturbance could try to organize in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Fortunately for the Caribbean islands, Hurricane Larry is already beginning to turn north. The only impact will be very large, hurricane-powered swells pounding the coasts of the islands starting tomorrow.

Significant swells are forecast to reach the U.S. East Coast next week. Extra-powerful surf and rip currents will be a hazard along the beaches. Watch for warning flags at the beach next week.

Larry is already a Category 3 hurricane and is forecast to reach Category 4 strength before upper-level winds become somewhat hostile. It is also growing in size.

Hurricane Larry advisory summary. (WPLG)

The storm is heading in the general direction of Bermuda. Most of the computer model forecasts show the worst of the hurricane passing by to the east, but that is not certain. The storm should be in the vicinity of the island about next Thursday.

Larry might also take a swipe at Atlantic Canada as it heads off into the North Atlantic, but most of the computer forecast models show it staying offshore to the east.

The Caribbean disturbance we’ve been tracking will pass across the Yucatán Peninsula today and will likely move into the Gulf of Mexico tomorrow. Upper-level winds are forecast to be somewhat hostile over the Gulf, at least initially, so the system isn’t expected to organize quickly if it does at all.

The computer forecast models disagree on how conducive for development the weather pattern will be in a few days. It could organize quickly over the warm waters of the northern Gulf.

Tropical Atlantic satellite overview. (WPLG)

For now, the National Hurricane Center is giving the disturbance a low chance of becoming at least a tropical depression in the next 5 days.

Because the system is weak and diffuse, it’s important to remember that any forecasts are prone to larger-than-normal errors. We need to watch it closely since it won’t be far from land. And, of course, people are still suffering from the aftermath of Hurricane Ida in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Elsewhere, there is nothing obvious in the works. As always, we will watch the systems coming off Africa late next week as we reach the peak of hurricane season – September 10. That’s the date when we are most likely to have a named storm in the Atlantic, according to the historical odds.


About the Author:

Bryan Norcross is currently a hurricane specialist at Local 10 News, the station where he began his stretch on television in Miami in 1983.