Monday, July 14, 2008

The Next Hurricane???

Tropical Storm Bertha continues slowly churning up the waters of the western Atlantic. The forecast calls for her to finally push eastward and begin to dissipate. As we say goodbye, we turn our attention to a strong, tropical wave that is east of the Lesser Antilles. The National Hurricane Center is giving this feature an over 50% chance of developing, and I agree. A lot of the global models are developing this system in the next day or two. The environment ahead of the wave is very good. Low wind shear and warm ocean water should help get this thing started. If it becomes a tropical storm, the next name on the list is Cristobal.
Since the storm has not formed yet, it is impossible to predict where it could hit. The general motion will be west northwest, placing the system in the Caribbean. From there, we do not know. After watching Bertha go from nothing to a category 3 hurricane so quickly, anything is possible. The computer models are not great in forecasting the intensity of tropical systems. The bottom line is that anything can, and will, happen so we need to be aware and prepared. Remember, it only takes one.