MIDDAY UPDATE: TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2019
TROPICAL DEPRESSION TEN HAS FORMED FAR OUT IN THE ATLANTIC, AND IS FORECAST TO QUICKLY BECOME TROPICAL STORM IMELDA. ALSO, 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 Tropical Storm Imelda soon, and be at hurricane strength when it is in the vicinity of the islands late in the week.
After the islands, potential Imelda’s future gets murky. There appears to be a fork in the road. I 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.
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.
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 very 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.
In the western Gulf of Mexico, Tropical Disturbance #1 will slowly move into Texas tonight or tomorrow bringing extremely heavy rain to 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.
Tropical Disturbance #2 has flared up behind the depression. Computer forecast models slowly move it in the direction of the eastern Caribbean islands, but don’t develop it very much.
A couple more tropical disturbances appear primed to move off the African coast late this week or early next. We’ll have to watch them. It’s that time of year.