AFTERNOON UPDATE: TUESDAY, SEPT 17, 2019
TROPICAL DEPRESSION TEN HAS FORMED FAR OUT IN THE ATLANTIC, AND IS FORECAST TO QUICKLY BECOME A TROPICAL STORM. THE DISTURBANCE ON THE TEXAS COAST IS NOW TROPICAL STORM IMELDA. AND, HURRICANE HUMBERTO IS GAINING STRENGTH AS IT MOVES AWAY FROM THE U.S. IT WILL BE A CLOSE CALL FOR BERMUDA.
Far out in the Atlantic, Tropical Depression Ten has formed. It is steadily organizing as it heads in the general direction of the northeastern Caribbean islands. The system is forecast to become a tropical storm soon, and be at hurricane strength when it is in the vicinity of the islands late in the week. Its name will now be Jerry, since Imelda quickly formed today in the Gulf.
After the islands, potential Jerry’s future gets murky. There appears to be a fork in the road. It might turn north and more or less follow Humberto out to sea. Or it might get stuck under a high-pressure system and slow down east of the Bahamas or near the Caribbean islands.
It will depend on how strong it gets, and other factors. The stronger it gets by the end of the week, the more likely it is to follow Humberto out to sea. It is too early to know more.
In the western Gulf of Mexico, Tropical Storm Imelda formed and has already made landfall. It will slowly move over the Texas coast tonight or tomorrow. Extremely heavy rain is forecast for coastal sections of Texas and southwestern Louisiana. The flood threat is compounded because of the system’s slow movement. In addition, the Gulf water is running quite high from the persistent onshore wind, which will cause some local coastal flooding as well.
The fact that Imelda has some localized winds of 40 mph does not change the threat, which is primarily from rainfall that is forecast to be over a foot in some areas.
Humberto is growing in size and strength. It is heading in the general direction of Bermuda, and is forecast to make its closest approach to the island late tomorrow or on Thursday. It’s impossible to know if the strongest part of the hurricane – the eyewall – will cross the island, but it won’t be far away. At the least, very high surf and some strong winds are expected to impact the island.
The effects in the U.S. will be dangerous ocean conditions that will continue for another few days, and cooler, drier air that will be pushed into Florida. The winds will pick up and the air will be noticeably less humid starting tomorrow.
Humberto is forecast to accelerate out to sea after it passes Bermuda.
A Tropical Disturbance has flared up east of Tropical Depression Ten. Computer forecast models slowly move it in the direction of the eastern Caribbean islands, but don’t develop it very much.
Another tropical disturbance is due to move off the African coast late this week. We’ll have to watch for its development. It’s that time of year.