Storms real and not so real (at least not yet)

TLDR: Franklin may brush Bermuda and Vinland, Typhoon Saola impacting Philippines. Thing in Caribbean may become a weak thing in the Gulf next week, but lots of ifs, and if you’re not in the western Caribbean or Florida, no worries yet. Let’s start with the thing that isn’t first …

NHC has an area in the Caribbean tagged at a 70% chance of becoming at least a depression. It does have the “magic words: Interests in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, western Cuba, and Florida should monitor the progress of this system. So in short, if you are in those places, monitor (and make sure you know what you would do in case of a tropical storm). Not in those areas? Don’t worry, check back tomorrow.

The global models (GFS, ECMWRF) show a disturbance spinning up that will have tropical characteristics. However, at least at this point, they don’t become strong systems (much less a hurricane). Here is what the GFS model is showing for next Tuesday afternoon at 2pm, the winds and heights (a measure of pressure) at the 850mb level (about 5000 feet above the surface). The 850mb chart is a good indication of the strength and organization of storms. The thing in the upper center is what a serious storm looks like. That is what will be Hurricane Franklin (currently a tropical storm). Notice how diffuse the system approaching Florida is in comparison to Franklin, even compared to the developing system off of Mexico in the East Pacific, although the winds are a bit higher (but no where near hurricane force).

click any image to embiggen.

For those in coastal Georgia or South Carolina, there isn’t really much to see here unless you just enjoy watching the tropics – if a threat develops (and it’s a huge if) we will see it start to develop by Sunday. And it would be an exiting (“back door” storm that, while they can cause inconvenience, are rarely very dangerous with some common sense. Assuming you have an idea what you would do if a storm develops (see the FEMA site if you don’t have a hurricane plan) there isn’t any need to worry about this thing at this point (or likely ever, although there is a chance of some rain from the system).

Update at 8am: the 06z GFS run, that came in after I wrote this post, shows a bit more organized system …

… still not a hurricane, a broad tropical storm. This goes to show that there isn’t run-to-run consistency yet (the big global models are run four times per day, at 2am, 8am, 2pm, and 8pm Eastern Daylight Time). Again, we will have more clarity by Sunday, and it will be mid-week next week for any impacts so plenty of time to sort this out.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic Tropical Storm soon to be Hurricane Franklin is in an eastward zig, but should zag north in a day or two. The current track takes in far enough west of Bermuda for impacts to be minimal, but it wouldn’t take much of a shift right – and that is the stronger side of the storm – to have significant impacts. For the US East Coast, it should stay far enough away that the only impacts will be waves and rip currents. NHC doesn’t even have a “key messages” up at the moment, here is my TAOS/TC model impact swath, which keeps impacts offshore:

The remnants of Emily and another disturbance following in its wake are moving northward in the far eastern Atlantic, of no concern except to fish and fish related interests.

In the West Pacific, there are two storms, Typhoon Saola, which is causing impacts in the Philippines, and tropical storm Damrey, which may stay a tropical storm. Saola is just doing a loop off of the northeast coast of Luzon, not expected to make landfall before doing a 360 degree loop and heading west towards Taiwan. Here’s the forecast swaths:

So, lots of words and graphics, but the TLDR summed it up fairly well. Bermuda should watch Franklin, which should be a full hurricane, as it passes Monday. Yucatan and Florida will likely get rain from what will then be a disturbance in the Gulf that may or may not be a tropical disturbance of some kind. The Philippines will get rain and gusty winds from the fringes of Saola (and hopefully nothing else).

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