Update on the Tropics!

Posted: August 26, 2016, 5:02 pm by abarney

As we continue our march toward the peak of hurricane season (which occurs around September 10th), we appropriately have a few tropical interests going on. Tropical Storm Gaston continues to march across the Atlantic, but will not threaten the United States. We’ve also kept our eyes on Invest 99-L, an area of activity moving through the Caribbean, during the past few days. While it has remained mostly disorganized, there still remains a chance it could develop into a tropical system. 

First, a brief look at Gaston. It’s a Tropical Storm right now, churning across the central Atlantic. It will not pose a threat to land aside from sending some waves across the sea, resulting in a rip current risk along the portions of the eastern seaboard of the U.S. Be aware of that if heading to the beach this weekend!

 

Visible satellite image loop of Tropical Storm Gaston, from 9:15am - 4:15pm EDT, on 8/26/16. Gaston is over the central Atlantic, posing no threat to land.

Otherwise, we turn our attention to Invest 99-L. It has been the subject of much discussion over the past few days, and for good reason! It was showing decent potential to develop into an organized system, possibly impacting Florida or the Gulf states. However, it has struggled to develop in a poor environment, despite sea surface temperatures between 83 - 86 degrees. Wind shear has been its main problem (tropical systems need minimal wind shear to develop), but it has also interacted with the terrain of some of the Caribbean islands. 

Looking forward though, we still cannot ignore this system. Regardless of whether nor not 99-L becomes organized, it will likely still bring heavy rain and pose flooding concerns for areas in southern Florida and the Bahamas. Keeping an eye on this disturbance will be important, especially as we progress into early next week. The system could pass into the eastern Gulf of Mexico by that time, where water temperatures are a few degrees warmer, and atmospheric conditions could be more conducive for it to develop. 

 

Invest 99-L has a 60% chance of developing into a tropical system in the next 5 days (NHC). The orange cone shows where the system could develop. 

Right now, just stay informed and stay tuned for more updates as we head through the weekend! We will keep updating you on any developments going forward. 

 

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