Thursday, 23 September 2010
A large area of thunderstorms in the central Caribbean has peaked the National Hurricane Center’s interest. They expect this disturbance to develop into a tropical depression within the next day or two. This area of disturbed tropical weather is part of what computer models have been forecasting to develop next week into a major hurricane (take those solutions with a grain of salt).
This disturbance should be over the western Caribbean later this weekend into early next week. The warm water temperatures and low wind shear environment would be supportive of a hurricane — potentially a major one (the next name on the list is Matthew). Looking at the steering currents expected next week, this storm should head north and then northeast towards Florida mid or late next week. But there are all kinds of issues to consider. How quickly or slowly does the storm move Sunday and Monday? Does it strengthen rapidly or slowly? Are computer models handling the flow pattern correctly?
These are all good questions that deserve answers. So it’s too early to know for sure exactly where this storm will track next week. Though it does look like Florida is at the greatest risk from this system. And based on the conditions that should be present this weekend into early next week over the Caribbean, it seems safe to say we are talking about a landfalling hurricane — potentially a major one.
This could be the first landfalling U.S. hurricane of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season. Hurricane chasers should keep a very close eye on this disturbance, and have their schedules open next week. Things could become very interesting!