Tropics Still Hot as Fred’s Not Dead and Another System is Coming
We are one week closer to the climatological peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season for 2021. That "peak" date is officially September 10th.
Since we are in the middle of August I guess it would make sense that we have more than one tropical weather entity to be concerned with. As you can see, we will be in "prime time" for tropical weather from basically now until the first of October.
So, while we hope for a quiet future in the tropics, we certainly have a busy "right now" that we have to address. Namely the two tropical systems that could both affect the continental United States.
Starting with the most likely threat Tropical Depression Fred. The system lost a lot of steam when it crossed the high mountains of Hispanola earlier in the week. The system's center of circulation is located just off the northeastern coast of Cuba or about 410 miles east southeast of Key West Florida.
Fred is moving toward the west-northwest, which would bring it directly over Key West, at about nine miles per hour. The system is producing very heavy rains generally to the east and northeast of the center of circulation.
Tropical Storm Watches have been posted for South Florida from Bonita Beach to Ocean Reef. This watch includes the Florida Keys as well. Fred is anticipated to grow stronger over the course of today and should retain tropical storm strength by late this morning or perhaps this afternoon.
The forecast track does keep Fred just off the west coast of Florida for most of the weekend. As of now, track guidance suggests the system will make landfall near Appalachicola sometime late Sunday night or early Monday morning.
Meanwhile, almost traveling in the metaphoric footprints of Fred is our next system. It's a robust tropical wave about 1,000 miles east of the Leeward Islands. It has been given a 70% probability of spinning up into a tropical cyclone over the next five days.
Track model guidance on this system is pretty consistent for the next few days as it is forecast to approach Puerto Rico and Hispanola much like Fred did. However, the guidance diverges quickly after three days into the forecast period.
Some models have this system following on the path of Fred while other track models pull the system to the east of Florida bringing it up the east coast of the United States. Regardless, we do have time on our side with this system so we can wait and watch for the next week or so.
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