Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Good Bye Bertha, Hello Cristobal?

Out in the tropics, Bertha continues to pull away from the island of Bermuda and the east coast. Bertha will go down in the record books for the longest lasting tropical system during the month of July. Thankfully, the U.S. coast did not have to deal with Bertha. Closer to home, there is an area of low pressure off the west coast of Florida. It formed off an old cold front boundary but because it is too close to land, it probably won't amount to more than a rain maker for Florida. Farther south towards the Lesser Antilles, this is where our next storm could come from. It is the red circle with the number 2 above it on the graphic in the top left.

The hurricane hunters are scheduled to fly into the system this afternoon. It has been able to maintain flares up of convection around the wave but there has been no evidence of a closed, surface circulation. If they find one, then our next tropical system will be born. The next question is will effect us? Right now, it is impossible to say. Since the storm has not developed, many of the main, global computer models don't even show this system. The image to the left show the hurricane models that are trying to forecast for something that is not there. However, with this feature as far south as it is, my gut tells me it will stay in the Caribbean and move into Central America. We will continue tracking because you never know what could happen. Take Bertha as an example. When she formed, the forecast called for a sooner turn to the north and never becoming a hurricane. She managed to become a category 3 hurricane and did not turn north until days later.