Update 4:30 p.m.: Hurricane Gert is now a Category 2 storm with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph.
The storm, which is no threat to land, is the season’s first Cat 2 storm. It is expected to begin weakening in the next 12 hours.
Update 2:30 p.m.: Two areas being watched by the hurricane center had their chances of development increased to 50 percent over five days as of the 2 p.m. forecast.
Invests 91L and 92L, which are between the Lesser Antilles and the Cabo Verde Islands, were previously at 40 percent.
The third disturbance, a tropical wave off the coast of Africa, has a 40 percent chance of development over five days.
Jeff Masters, co-founder of Weather Underground, said having three potential tropical cyclones in the Atlantic’s “main development region” is unusual, even as we enter the peak of the season.
The main development region is between the Lesser Antilles Islands and the coast of Africa.
“Since 2014, when the NHC first began issuing its 5-day Tropical Weather Outlook, I could find only three occasions when they highlighted as many as three areas of concern in the entire Atlantic,” Masters said. “None of the cases had all three systems located in the MDR.”
Previous story: The National Hurricane Center is continuing to monitor three potential tropical cyclones in the Atlantic as they move swiftly west toward the Caribbean, Bahamas and U.S. coast.
At the same time, Hurricane Gert is strengthening with winds up to 90 mph this morning and expected to top out at 100 mph. Gert is no threat to land, and is moving northeast out to sea at 21 mph.
Of the three disturbances, two have earned the designation of “invest”, which is short for investigation and allows the hurricane center to start gathering more data on them.
As of the 8 a.m. advisory, Invest 91L, which is about 900 miles east of Lesser Antilles, was given a 40 percent chance of development over five days as of the 8 a.m. update.
Invest 92L, which is several hundred miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands, also has a 40 percent chance of development over five days.
The third disturbance, which is a tropical wave that just exited the coast of Africa with disorganized thunderstorms and showers, had its chances of development increased this morning to 40 percent over five days.
The next name on the tropical cyclone list this year is Harvey, followed by Irma.
All three areas remain below a level of dry Saharan air, which can kill a developing cyclone if it gets sucked into its spin. Cyclones need a warm, moist atmosphere to grow, and Saharan air lowers relative humidity levels in the upper atmosphere.
While it’s still too early to know how these systems will grow and move, at least one set of models keeps 91L on a more southerly track mimicking Hurricane Franklin’s path through the Caribbean.
The disturbance behind it, however, may be on a more northerly path.
Jeff Masters, co-founder of Weather Underground, said 92L is worth watching.
“Satellite images on Tuesday morning showed that this eastern twin of 91L also had a limited amount of disorganized heavy thunderstorm activity, but a respectable amount of spin,” he wrote in his Category 6 blog.
Warm water and low wind shear could be aiding 92L as it makes its way west at 15 to 20 mph.