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Mindy heading into the Atlantic as the tropics get busier

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Mindy was organized enough to be designated a tropical storm when winds over 40 mph were measured on a buoy in the Gulf of Mexico. That happened yesterday afternoon, then last night the system made landfall near Apalachicola. A weak version of Mindy is heading off the Atlantic coast near the South Carolina/Georgia border taking its gusty downpours with it.

Mindy was the third storm this year – after Fred and Ida – to put high-energy swells against the Panhandle beaches. Hurricane Michael ripped up a good part of the coastline east of Panama City in 2018, and the repetitive storms this year have done a number on the replenished beaches, which is a challenging problem.

Hurricane Larry will make its closest approach to Bermuda today. Tropical Storm conditions are expected on the island – meaning winds gusting over 40 mph and tropical downpours. Giant swells are pounding the coastline there.

Energy from Larry’s huge circulation is spreading out across the Atlantic. Dangerous high-energy surf and rip currents are likely along the U.S. East Coast for a few days, although less so in Broward and Miami-Dade counties where the Bahamas acts as a shield.

Tropical Storm Olaf is forecast to become a hurricane before it swipes Cabo San Lucas on Mexico’s Baja California peninsula tonight before heading out to sea.

Tropical Disturbance #1 is the next one in the pattern of Ida and Mindy, developing near Central America. The National Hurricane Center is giving this one a low chance to develop as it heads into the extreme southern Gulf of Mexico over the next few days.

So far, there are no indications it would lift very far north before running into land, but we’ll have to watch. As always, forecasts for developing systems are subject to significant change.

Disturbance #2 is still over Africa. It is forecast to emerge into the Atlantic as a robust system and is likely to quickly develop into a tropical depression or tropical storm. The current forecasts show it turning north almost immediately, but again we’ll watch to be sure the early predictions are right.

The next name on the list is Nicholas.

I’ve added Tropical Disturbance #3. It is not currently forecast to develop as it heads off to the west, but it will be a moisture surge to keep an eye on as it moves in the general direction of Florida. Sometimes those moisture surges surprise us and develop over time.

Tomorrow is the peak of hurricane season based on historical records, so we expect the tropics to be busy. Fortunately, nothing looks threatening at the moment.

Don’t get too excited, though. It’s not all downhill yet. The most likely time for a storm in South Florida is after September 10th, later in September or October.


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.