24 July 2020

Two landfalls on Saturday, and watching far eastern Atlantic

Gonzalo is approaching the Windward Islands, and has been unable to intensify to a hurricane due to its proximity to dry and dusty air.  It's still a small storm (tropical storm force winds extend an average of about 17 miles from the center!!), and peak sustained winds are presently at 45 mph. A tropical storm warning is in effect for Barbados, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent & Grenadines.

It will cross over the Windward Islands on Saturday, then face an even more hostile environment in the central Caribbean. In fact, the NHC forecast is for it to dissipate completely within four days.  This is a rough time for tropical cyclones to take this track... we can be thankful it's not a month later!

Tropical Depression 8 was upgraded to Tropical Storm Hanna on Thursday night and it has continued to intensify.  Peak winds are up to 50 mph as of 2pm on Friday, and it's clearly getting more organized by the hour. It too will make landfall on Saturday, in the vicinity of Corpus Christi, Texas.  With minimal wind shear and toasty water temperatures, there is a very real chance that Hanna becomes a hurricane prior to landfall, though that is not in the official forecast.  I have several updating radar loops to cover the landfall, all available at http://bmcnoldy.rsmas.miami.edu/tropics/radar/

This comes with the regular suite of hazards, including wind, inland rainfall flooding, and coastal storm surge flooding.

And that wave I mentioned yesterday is still a feature to watch in the coming days.  It's six days away from reaching the Lesser Antilles (Thursday), but there is model guidance to suggest that it is likely to develop. The National Hurricane Center has also increased the probability of it developing within the next five days to 40%. Conditions ahead of it are marginal now and for the next 1-2 days, but beyond that, there appears to be little in its way. It is officially tagged as Invest 92L ("Invest" is the term given to systems of interest that are not yet tropical cyclones, 92 is part of the revolving sequence of numbers given to invests (90-99), and L is for atLantic).

The next name on the list is Isaias.  The record earliest date for the ninth named storm is August 7, so if this becomes a tropical storm within the next 13 days, it will break that record and join Cristobal, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, and Hanna this year!

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