Monday, September 14 Tropics Update
Mid-September is the climatological peak of the annual hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean.
For a season that has already broken records for the rapidness with which storms have been forming, it is only fitting that it is achieving another rare feat.
There are currently five named storms in the Atlantic basin: Paulette, Rene, Sally, Teddy, and Vicky. The annual list of names only contains one more name: Wilfred.
Having five simultaneous named storms has happened only one other time, in 1971 between September 11-13th, with Fern, Edith, Ginger, Heidi, and Irene.
Once Wilfred develops, which could happen within a week, further names will be assigned by the letters of the Greek Alphabet (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, etc.). Only in 2005 has this been necessary.
Let’s take a quick rundown of the current storms, in order of their development.
Paulette moved over the island of Bermuda earlier today as a Category 1 Hurricane with maximum winds of 90 mph.
Paulette will move northeast into the northern Atlantic Ocean, strengthening into a major hurricane (category 3+) by tomorrow morning.
Paulette should remain a hurricane until it turns south over the eastern Atlantic and loses its tropical characteristics. Nonetheless, it could bring tropical storm conditions to the Azores by the weekend.
Tropical Depression Rene
Rene has been barely hanging onto life today, and with the 5 PM Update from the National Hurricane Center, will no longer be considered a tropical cyclone. This will end the occurrence of having five named storms, which began just this morning.
Sally is the storm we are watching here in the United States. Skirting along the central Gulf Coast, Sally is currently a Category 1 Hurricane that should strengthen to a Category 2 before landfall in Mississippi.
That landfall will not occur until Wednesday, subjecting coastal areas to a prolonged, tropical rain that has already begun. A destructive 10-15 inches of rain will cause devastating flooding on top of the storm surge.
Sally will slowly track northeast into the southern Appalachians with flooding rains before exiting off the coast of the Carolinas.
Tropical Storm Teddy
Teddy formed in the central Atlantic yesterday and should steadily move off to the northwest while strengthening.
By Tuesday, Teddy should become a hurricane and by Thursday, it should achieve major hurricane status.
The jury is still out on where Teddy will head after the weekend, but Bermuda will need to be on guard.
Tropical Storm Vicky
Like Rene, Vicky is not expected to amount to much. Located in the far eastern Atlantic, Vicky is not expected to strengthen and should lose its tropical characteristics by Tuesday night, if not sooner.