18 September 2020

Wilfred and Alpha form in eastern Atlantic

For only the second time in history, the list of Atlantic tropical cyclone names has been exhausted. The wave in the eastern Atlantic was upgraded to Tropical Storm Wilfred on Friday morning.  This is the 21st named storm of the season, and is now three *weeks* ahead of 2005's record pace.

In the near term, Wilfred is expected to strengthen just a bit more, but then environmental conditions should become rather hostile by Monday, and the official forecast actually shows it dissipating in the deep tropics over the central Atlantic early next week.

Teddy has continued to intensify and is now a powerful Category 4 hurricane.  It's headed in the general direction of Bermuda, and should pass just east of the island on Sunday night.

Beyond the Bermuda encounter, it appears very likely that it will impact Nova Scotia as a strong hurricane (or extratropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds) on Tuesday.  The last few hurricanes to hit Nova Scotia were Dorian (2019), Earl (2010), Kyle (2008), and Juan (2003). 

Surprisingly, a low pressure system off the coast of Portugal developed today too, and is now Subtropical Storm Alpha.  This is the 22nd named storm of the season, and thus the first one to use the Greek alphabet! This won't around very long, but it certainly is interesting... the last subtropical storm to hit Portugal was Leslie in 2018.

We are also really close to having Tropical Storm Beta in the western Gulf of Mexico.  It's currently Tropical Depression 22, and models have been trending stronger.  The NHC forecast brings it up to hurricane intensity on Sunday and Monday as it drifts north, but then *possibly* weakening back to a tropical storm on Tuesday as it nears the Texas coast and slows to a crawl.

Unfortunately, regardless of just how intense it gets in the coming week, the rainfall will be very significant: this map below shows the rainfall forecast through next Friday. The sluggish motion will allow it to rain over the same locations for days.

Elsewhere, there is not much worth monitoring at this time.

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