Rain, clouds all day before Wednesday break

The low pressure system spinning in Florida’s Big Bend area will continue to send wet weather into Palm Beach County today, before retreating west Wednesday.

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A 70 percent chance of rain is expected today with showers diminishing this evening as winds begin to shift more out of the east and stay that way into Friday.

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It’s that deep tropical moisture flowing in from the south from the cyclonic spin of the system in the Gulf that is bringing all the moisture into South Florida.

Miami meteorologists said there is a moderate chance of thunderstorms, with a main concern being gusty winds and lightning.

A lightning death Friday on Florida’s Okaloosa Island brings the number of lightning fatalities in Florida to six. According to WEAR TV the victim was a 22-year-old man who rented beach umbrellas.

Read: Truths and myths about lightning strikes

There have been 22 lightning deaths nationwide. The average for this time of year is 24, said NWS lightning expert John Jensenius.

The Tampa area has been one of the hardest hit regions by the stubborn system. Flood watches remain in effect today for Levy, Hernando, Citrus and Pasco counties.

At least two inches of rain is expected near Tampa today.

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“As for today, abundant tropical  moisture combined with the lingering surface and mid-level low will again support numerous showers and a few storms over the region with slow moving bands of rain or the training of cells keeping a threat of some very heavy rain and possible flooding over the forecast area,” meteorologists wrote in their morning discussion.

A high pressure system building in the western Atlantic will help turn off the gushing showers.

Through the weekend, the high is expected to strengthen and remain mostly stationary with the best chances of rain happening on the west coast and inland.

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Earl expected to become a hurricane before landfall

For the latest updates on Earl, see today’s WeatherPlus blog here. 

Update 11 p.m.: Tropical Storm Earl’s top sustained winds remain at 60 mph in the National Hurricane Center’s 11 p.m. advisory, but forecasters say Earl should become the first hurricane of the 2016 Atlantic season before landfall.

Everything you need to know about the 2016 hurricane season. 

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The tropical storm is moving west at about 16 mph with a minimum central pressure at 996 mb, both of which remain the same as the previous advisory. However, a hurricane warning is now in effect for Puerto Costa Maya, Mexico, southward to the Belize-Guatemala border.

Forecasters expect some decrease in forward speed in the next two days, with Earl’s core predicted to pass just north of the Honduras Bay Islands Wednesday afternoon. Tropical storm conditions are expected to reach the coast of Honduras overnight, reaching parts of Mexico Wednesday night or early Thursday.

Rain totals of 8 to 12 inches, with up to 16 inches in spots, are forecast for parts of Belize, Honduras, Guatemala and the Yucatan peninsula.

Update 8 p.m.: Tropical Storm Earl remains on a westward path at about 16 mph, but the National Hurricane Center says Earl’s top sustained winds are now at 60 mph, with more strengthening expected.

Earl’s minimum central pressure has dropped to 996 mb, and tropical storm warnings are now in effect for Punta Allen, Mexico, southweard to the Belize-Guatemala border, as well as for Cabo Gracias a Dios westward to the Honduras-Guatemala border.

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Update 5 p.m.: The National Hurricane Center says Tropical Storm Earl has slowed its forward speed to 16 mph, which could allow it to strengthen over the super warm waters of the Caribbean.

Maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph, with higher gusts, and the minimum central pressure is 1002 mb.

Earl could be near hurricane-strength as it approaches Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula early Thursday. Tropical-storm force winds extend outward up to 90 miles.

Some images from Jamaica have begun to hit social media.

Update 2 p.m.: Tropical Storm Earl is up to 50 mph winds as it speeds toward the Yucatan Peninsula at 22 mph.

The system’s minimum central pressure is a modest 1002 mb, but hurricane center forecasters said it could intensify to near hurricane strength by the time it reaches the coast late tomorrow.

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Honduras could begin feeling tropical storm conditions tonight as winds extend up to 80 miles from the center of the storm.

Everything you need to know about the 2016 hurricane season. 

Hurricane conditions could begin in Mexico and Belize Wednesday night, according to the 2 p.m. public advisory from the hurricane center.

A hurricane watch is in effect for the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula from Punta Allen, Mexico to south of the Belize and Guatemalan border. A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area. It is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated beginning of tropical storm force winds.

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Rainfall seems to be the biggest concern with Earl. Accumulations of up to 12 inches are expected over portions of Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, and the Yucatan Peninsula. Isolated amounts of rain could total 16 inches.

“These rains could result in life-threatening flash floods and mud slides,” forecasters wrote.

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The first advisory for Tropical Storm Earl – the 5th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season – was issued just before noon by the National Hurricane Center.

Earl is packing 45 mph winds as it moves west at 22 mph. The storm is about 215 miles south-southeast of Grand Cayman.

The storm is no threat to the U.S., but Caribbean island nations, Belize, Hondurans and Mexico have issued watches and warnings as the system approaches.

Hurricane center forecasters said the storm is entering an area where wind shear will weaken, allowing it to increase in intensity.

They said Earl could be near hurricane strength by the time it approaches Yucatan Peninsula.

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Previous story: The National Hurricane Center has posted a special alert saying it will begin initiating advisories on Tropical Storm Earl before noon.

An Air Force Hurricane Hunter has been investigating the storm this morning and relaying information back that must show a closed circulation has developed.

All you need to know about the 2016 hurricane season. 

Earl is the 5th named storm of the 2016 hurricane season. The Atlantic basin had been incredibly quiet for a month before this tropical wave popped up last week.

AccuWeather forecasters said the fast forward pace of the storm – about 23 mph – won’t give it enough time to ramp up into a hurricane before making landfall near the Yucatan Peninsula tomorrow.

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A strong tropical wave packing tropical cyclone-strength winds continues its swift trek west in the Caribbean Sea, but lacks the closed surface circulation that would make it the 5th named storm of the year.

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As of 8 a.m., National Hurricane Center forecasters said the system was about 150 miles south-southwest of Kinston, Jamaica and moving west at about 20 mph. It is expected to reach the Cayman Islands later today as environmental conditions become more accommodating for its development.

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The system is producing winds of 40 to 45 mph.

An Air Force Hurricane Hunter crew is on its way to investigate the system this morning. A flight Monday had to turnaround because of minor fuel line problems.

“Regardless of tropical cyclone formation, the wave is already producing winds of 40 to 45 mph, and these conditions along with heavy rains will likely continue over portions of Jamaica this morning, and will spread over the Cayman Islands later today,” forecasters wrote.

At least six people were killed in the Dominican Republic last night as heavy rains and strong winds associated with the tropical wave pounded the island, according to the Associated Press.

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Power lines that were knocked down by the storm started a fire that killed six people on a bus returning from a trip to the beach. At least 12 other people on board were injured, the AP reported.

AccuWeather forecasters said Monday they expect this storm, which would be named Earl if it gained tropical storm status, to become a strong tropical storm or even a hurricane.

People in Central America are eager to learn more this morning after the reconnaissance flight.

Some people commenting on social media are frustrated with what they see as a lack of action on the part of the National Hurricane Center. The center has not issued any warnings or watches for the Caribbean, which is protocol when the storm has not been named.

While the storm is being directly blamed for six deaths, there may be more as the day progresses.

For all 2016 Hurricane Season news go here. 

“Conditions from the system may have also caused a tour boat to overturn near the Samana Peninsula on Sunday,” an AP story said. “Authorities recovered the bodies of three people and said four others were still missing.”

Military spokesman Arsenio Maldonado said a small craft advisory was in effect at the time but a cause of the incident has not yet been determined.

The Jamaican Meteorological Service issued a tropical warning Monday night.

In the 8 a.m. discussion, forecasters note that people living in the western Caribbean should listen to local meteorologists and emergency managers for warnings.

Areas of Honduras, Belize, and the Yucatan Peninsula are of special concern.

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Hurricane change: It’s Cabo Verde now, not Cape Verde

You might have noticed, or not, that the National Hurricane Center this year has started using the name Cabo Verde instead of Cape Verde in reference to the island nation off the coast of Africa.

Traditionally, storms that develop from tropical waves washing off the coast of Africa have been called Cape Verde hurricanes.

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But in 2013, the government of Cape Verde decided that the Portuguese designation of its name would be used for official purposes and asked the U.S. government to refer to the nation as Cabo Verde instead of Cape Verde.

Technically, the official name of the 10-island nation is the Republic of Cabo Verde.

Dennis Feltgen, a meteorologist and spokesman for the National Hurricane Center, said the World Meteorological Organization Region IV adopted Cabo Verde as the official name in April.

The center first used Cabo Verde publicly on Tuesday when referring to Invest 96 L, which was given a 50 percent chance of development in the short term this morning.

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A National Hurricane Center forecast refers to the Cabo Verde Islands, formerly known as the Cape Verde Islands.

According to the U.S. Department of State:

“In a diplomatic note sent on November 27, 2013 the Embassy of Cape Verde requested that the United States Government change the name of the country from ‘Cape Verde’ to ‘Cabo Verde’. The U.S. Board on Geographic Names approved the change on December 9, 2013.”

Cabo Verde sits about 300 miles off the coast of Sengal and was under Portuguese rule for more than 500 years.

In a 2014 Boston Globe article, Leo Dillon, who heads the Geographical Information Unit in the State Department’s Office of the Geographer, said it could take a while for Cabo Verde to be adopted in the U.S.

“You’re going to see Cape Verde in the English news for quite a while,” he said. “In the colloquial sphere, it will be slow to be picked up if it gets picked up at all . . . just like when we changed from Ivory Coast to Cote d’Ivoire.”

Beginning in August, tropical waves exit the coast of Africa every three to five days and the Cabo Verde Islands will likely be mentioned often this hurricane season.

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New tropical wave being tracked, now two in Atlantic

Update 2 p.m.: Two tropical waves are now being tracked by the National Hurricane Center with one getting a low chance of development and the second a 40 percent chance.

Neither are expected to be long lived at this point as they travel toward drier air, slightly cooler waters and areas with higher wind shear.

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The wave that popped up Wednesday morning is about 350 miles south-southeast of the Cape Verde Islands. Some development in the short term is expected.

The new system, which is about 1,700 miles east-southeast of the Leeward Islands, is moving west at 30 mph and has a 30 percent chance of development over five days.

Hurricane center forecasters said if formation occurs, it could be this weekend when the system is closer to Lesser Antilles and Puerto Rico.

 

Global satellite image from NOAA shows tropical waves leaving the coast of Africa.
Global satellite image from NOAA shows tropical waves leaving the coast of Africa.

 

 

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The National Hurricane Center is giving a cluster of thunderstorms off the coast of Africa a 40 percent chance of strengthening over the next few days, but it is moving into a less accommodating environment and could fall apart by the time it reaches the central tropical Atlantic.

The wave is moving west-northwest at about 10 to 15 mph.

Check The Palm Beach Post radar map.

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As of the 8 a.m. update, forecasters said the wave was about 400 miles southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands.

The hurricane center is using the official name Cabo Verde instead of the more commonly used Cape Verde to refer to the islands. In 2013, the Cape Verdean government determined that the Portuguese designation “Cabo Verde” would henceforth be used for official purposes.

Watch home “explode” in 140 mph hurricane winds. 

If the waves moves to much to the north it will run into a thick patch of Saharan dust, which works to kill storms because of its low relative humidity.

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Orange and yellow areas mark the presence of Saharan dust.

Also, slightly cooler sea surface temperatures are in the system’s path. For a tropical cyclone to develop, it needs temperatures of at least 80 degrees Fahrenheit or 26.5 degrees Celsius.

The map below shows sea surface temperatures just below 80 to the west of the wave.

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Will hurricane season lull continue?

It was a busy start to the Atlantic hurricane season with three named storms on the scoreboard since May and eccentric Hurricane Alex forming in January.

But since Danielle fizzled over central Mexico last month – crickets.

July is normally a quiet month for storms. Since 1851, 118 named storms have spun up in July with 55 becoming hurricanes, according to NOAA.

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That’s compared to the busy months of August, September and October, which have seen 378, 571 and 336 storms form since 1851.

AccuWeather hurricane experts said they don’t expect much through the next couple of weeks as the same high pressure system that is turning up the heat in South Florida works against tropical development.

The National Weather Service in Miami issued the first heat advisory for South Florida on Tuesday since 2009 as heat index temperatures were forecast to reach as high as 110 degrees.

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“Inhibiting factors may continue to dominate, limiting tropical development through July,” AccuWeather forecasters wrote. “However, there are a few spots where trouble could brew, ahead of a bigger uptick in storms after mid-August.”

Sea surface temperatures in the east and central Atlantic still remain a little cool for tropical formation. Typically, sea surface temperatures need to be about 80 degrees or higher for a tropical system to form and develop.

While temperatures in central and west Atlantic are sufficiently warm, they remain closer to 70 degrees off the coast of Africa where much of the activity is seen as we get further into the season.

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Sea surface temperatures in degrees Celsius.

“Overall, July is typically a quiet time in the Atlantic basin, so people should not be real surprised about the lull we have at this time,” said AccuWeather hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski. “Moving forward later in the summer, we will look for the Atlantic high pressure area to weaken, dry air to disperse and surface and upper-level winds to weaken.”

But, Kottlowski cautioned that conditions could become more favorable for a tropical system to develop in the far eastern Atlantic later this month.

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Hurricane Center hopes to thwart maritime disasters like El Faro

The National Hurricane Center is hoping to thwart maritime disasters such as the 2015 sinking of the cargo ship El Faro by training with the cruise and cargo shipping industries on storm forecasting during severe weather events.

Center Director Rick Knabb said meteorologists met with representatives from both groups and the U.S. Coast Guard in May to discuss how the center can better get the most timely forecasts to people responsible for routing ships at sea.

Knabb mentioned the effort during a congressional hearing of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, when asked about the ongoing federal investigation into the El Faro sinking. The 737-foot ship went down near the Bahamas in Hurricane Joaquin, killing all 33 crew members.

National Transportation Board photo of El Faro on bottom of sea floor.
National Transportation Board photo of El Faro on bottom of sea floor.

“We are just as concerned about saving lives at sea as we are saving lives on land,” Knabb said. “We have our tropical analysis and forecast branch doing forecasting for the offshore waters and high seas over millions of square miles 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

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The NTSB is launching a mission this month JULYto recover the data voice recorder from El Faro, which is sitting in 15,000 feet of water near Crooked Island in the Bahamas.

But El Faro wasn’t the only ship to get caught in a storm in the past year. Royal Caribbean’s 1,100-foot Anthem of the Seas luxury liner was rocked by a powerful low pressure system in February that rolled up the eastern seaboard.

Anthem of the Seas
Anthem of the Seas

The company initially called the storm unexpected, but meteorologists had predicted hurricane-force gales. Royal Caribbean later apologized, saying the incident “identified gaps” in its planning system.

Passengers filed multiple lawsuits in federal court following what one plaintiff described as “hours of sheer terror” where cruise-goers experienced a “reasonable fear of death.”

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New Jersey passenger Frank DeLuca said in his lawsuit that the fear was amplified by the knowledge of what happened to El Faro.

Photo provided in the DeLuca lawsuit to Anthem of the Seas.
Photo provided in the DeLuca lawsuit to Anthem of the Seas.

“Just months after one of the worst maritime tragedies in recent history, (Royal Caribbean’s) knowing, intentional and reckless conduct subjects it to the imposition of punitive damages,” the lawsuit states.

Knabb said he was surprised to learn that some of the decisions on how to route ships during voyages are made by decision makers on land interpreting National Hurricane Center forecasts or other weather predictions from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.

“We are trying to understand the entire landscape and meet our partners’ needs as best we can by getting together in person to do training and exercises just like we do with our land-based emergency managers,” Knabb said. “We learn from one another through mock scenarios so that when the real thing happens, everyone makes the best decision.”

The Cruise Lines International Association said in a statement that several companies participated in the April meeting with the National Hurricane Center.

Hurricane Joaquin on Sept. 30, 2016 at 11:45 a.m. Credits: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
Hurricane Joaquin on Sept. 30, 2016 at 11:45 a.m. Credits: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

“The industry has and will continue to have a relationship with the National Hurricane Center,” the statement said.

TOTE Maritime, which owned El Faro, didn’t respond to a question about whether representatives attended the NHC meeting, but did send the following statement:

“Our goal throughout the investigation is to learn everything possible about the loss of our crew and vessel. Out of respect for our seafarers and for every seafarer here and around the world, it is critical that we understand what contributed to this accident.”

In May, executives of the California- based company Applied Weather Technology, which provided forecast information to El Faro, were grilled at U.S. Coast Guard hearings about the timeliness of forecasts the ship received, specifically on Sept. 30, when Tropical Storm Joaquin grew to hurricane force.

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According to the testimony of AWT executives Jerry Hale and Rich Brown, a forecast sent to El Faro in the early hours of Sept. 30 did not include an updated graphic track for the storm. The wind and wave information, however, were updated and correct with each release.

But because of a normal three-hour delay between when the National Hurricane Center gathers the information and releases it, subsequent delays at AWT for processing and a mistake that led to the same track forecast going out twice, El Faro didn’t get an accurate storm track until 21 hours after information was originally gathered.

“For some reason, an anomaly that we have not reproduced or identified — the tropical storm file was not updated,” Hale said in a Wednesday hearing. “What went out was the tropical text file from the previous outlook.”

A report last year compiled for the Cruise Lines International Association found just 12 incidents of storm or wave damage to cruise ships between 2009 and 2014.

But that included one high profile brush between 2012’s Hurricane Sandy and the cruise ship Disney Fantasy.

“There was a moment in the night where the ship tilted so far to the right that the furniture moved across our room,” said passenger David Evans in a CNN iReport about the incident. “If you think about how far a 13th story ship has to tilt for furniture to move, it says a lot.”

Hurricane Sandy was also responsible for sinking a replica of the 1787 Royal Naval sailing ship the Bounty, which went down off the coast of Cape Hatteras, N.C. on Oct. 29, 2012.

A replica of the Bounty went down off the coast of North Carolina in Hurricane Sandy. Photo courtesy U.S. Coast Guard
A replica of the Bounty went down off the coast of North Carolina in Hurricane Sandy. Photo courtesy U.S. Coast Guard

A National Transportation Safety Board report blamed Bounty Capt. Robin Walbridge for the sinking, saying his “reckless decision to sail the vessel into the well-forecasted path of Hurricane Sandy, subjected the aging vessel and the inexperienced crew to conditions from which the vessel could not recover.”

Two people died on the Bounty, including Walbridge, whose body was never found.

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Watch NASA’s view of Tropical Storm Colin soaking Florida

NASA got a view of Tropical Storm Colin that shows just how much rain Florida received over a two-day period from the sloppy short-lived cyclone.

The rainbow-colored satellite images are from June 6 through June 8 when Colin transitioned to an extra-tropical cyclone.

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What early tropical storms say about the hurricane season. 

The analysis showed Colin’s heaviest rainfall was over Central and North Florida where at least 10 inches fell over the two-day period.

Colin was an unusual tropical cyclone in that its counterclockwise spinning center was separated from the worst of its thunderstorms. At one point, National Hurricane Center forecasters said the strongest winds and storms were 230 miles southeast of the center.

Palm Beach County felt Colin’s touch Monday in the hot, humid air being pulled from the tropics and in threats of afternoon thunderstorms. West Palm Beach hit a high of 89 degrees with a dew point that reached a sticky 78 degrees. The relative humidity hit a high of 82 percent.

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Hurricane Center specialist John Cangialosi said part of the reason for its poor definition is because of how it was born.

“It came from a tropical wave, which is typical, but it turned into a gyre in the Gulf and that promotes a larger system,” Cangialosi said. “Storms come in all shapes and sizes and this one is definitely an awkward shape.”

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colin_imerg_6-8_june_2016

First tropical system of season may be brewing

The official start of the 2016 hurricane season is June 1, but the atmosphere is brewing up a little preview that may form into a tropical system by Memorial Day.

Meteorologists are watching forecast models that show an area of low pressure forming near the Bahamas that has the potential to become the season’s first tropical depression with a path toward Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.

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Andy Mussoline, senior meteorologist with the Pennsylvania-based AccuWeather, said the system is a signal that weather patterns are shifting, making things more favorable in the Atlantic for hurricanes.

Will a tropical cyclone be named after you this year? 

The official start date is June 1.

“We think any development that would occur later this week will be slow with a tropical depression likely the beginning,” Mussoline said. “We have warm water, low wind shear. Something may show up as early as Thursday.”

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While a few days ahead of schedule, early tropical development has some precedents.

Tropical Storm Ana, May 2015. Credits: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
Tropical Storm Ana, May 2015. Credits: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

Hurricanes have formed in every month but February.

Last year, Tropical Storm Ana opened the 2015 hurricane season with a May 9 debut.

This year, Hurricane Alex formed Jan. 14, making it only the second January-born Atlantic hurricane on record.

Other hurricanes refusing to adhere to man’s calendar include Alice, which formed Dec. 31, 1954, but managed to live through the New Year before dissipating Jan. 4. Another tropical storm dubbed Ana formed April 20 in 2003, while Tropical Storm Alberto was named May 19, 2012. Alberto was followed just days later by Tropical Storm Beryl, which formed May 26.

While January’s Hurricane Alex was more of a hold-over from the 2015 storm season, its formation date on the calendar made it a 2016 storm.

That means if the system being watched by forecasters develops, it would be named Bonnie.

But some forecasters aren’t ready to fire up the season just yet.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami has not identified the low pressure system that may develop as one to watch for potential tropical characteristics, and Jeff Masters, co-founder and director of meteorology for Weather Underground, confirmed an area of low pressure is expected to form but said the forecast is more muddled from there.

“The models have widely differing ideas on how much wind shear might be present, so it is too early to say if this system is a legitimate threat to develop into a tropical depression,” Masters said Monday.

Tropical cyclones are unique in that they have warmer temperatures at their centers — so called “warm cores” — that are able to sustain the strength of the storm over long distances.

But they need warm ocean waters and low wind shear to prosper — ingredients AccuWeather forecasters say are there.

Ocean temperatures are about 80 degrees with light winds that are expected to remain that way into next week.

Whether a tropical system forms, showers and thunderstorms are expected to increase from Florida to the Carolinas later this week and through Memorial Day with increasingly dangerous surf conditions.

“We think any development will be slow,” Mussoline said. “But we have warm water, low wind shear and high atmospheric moisture, which, combined, can mean tropical formation.”

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Will a hurricane be named after you this season?

The 2016 Atlantic hurricane season is only a few days away. 

With a near to above average year being predicted by several forecasts, there’s a bigger chance a hurricane may be named after you this year.

Alex is already off the list, having formed in January. And if your name’s not on the Atlantic forecast, maybe you’ll find yourself spinning around in the Eastern North Pacific.

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Naming tropical cyclones has an interesting history. 

According to National Hurricane Center spokesman Dennis Feltgen, names selected by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) are usually common names associated with the ethnicity of the basin that would be impacted by the storms.

“For example, in the Atlantic basin, the majority of storms have English names, but there are also a number of Hispanic-origin names as well as a few French names,” Feltgen said. “For the eastern North Pacific basin, the majority of names are of Hispanic origin, as the impacted countries are Mexico, Guatemala, and other nations of Central America.”

PUNTA GORDA - Damage from hurricane Charley in the Windmill mobile home community. Staff photo by Richard Graulich
PUNTA GORDA – Damage from hurricane Charley in the Windmill mobile home community. Staff photo by Richard Graulich

Beginning in 1953, Atlantic tropical storms have been named from lists originated by the National Hurricane Center. Six lists are in rotation and they are now maintained and updated by the WMO.

A storm name can be removed from the list if it is particularly deadly or costly.

This year, three names were removed.

 

 

Waterspouts possible today as South Florida rainy season nears

The rainy season typically starts near mid-May in South Florida and it looks to be right on schedule if this week’s forecast holds true.

The National Weather Service in Miami  is expecting rain to begin in earnest tomorrow, with a 70 percent chance of showers as an east-southeasterly wind pulls warm, tropical air north.

That wind pattern, in addition to the boundary of a clockwise churning high-pressure system along the coast, is also kicking up the chances for waterspouts, said Larry Kelly, a meteorologist with the NWS in Miami.

Water spout Sunday, July 28, 2013 off Boynton Beach. Jennifer Nelson/Contributed
Water spout Sunday, July 28, 2013 off Boynton Beach. Jennifer Nelson/Contributed

“We’ve had a few showers off the coast that we were watching and the potential is there for waterspouts,” Kelly said. “There could be a cell out there that generates one. Boaters should just exercise caution.”

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The winds are also going to increase humidity today with dew points expected to reach into the low 70s.

Today, the chances for rain are 20 percent, increasing to 40 percent tonight. Forecasters note that precipitable water – the measure of the depth of water that would result at the surface if all water vapor in an air column were to fall as rain – is 1.75 inches.

But most of that is expected to fall more in the interior of the state as sea breezes from each coast collide.

Rain has been sparse this spring with just 0.76 inches falling at Palm Beach International Airport this month. In April, just 1.46 inches of rain fell, which is 2.2 inches below normal.

The 2015 rainy season began on May 10, according to the NWS in Miami. That’s about 10 days before normal.

Today’s high is supposed to reach 86 degrees, which is exactly the norm for this time of year.

The overnight low is expected to dip to just 77 degrees, which is six degrees above normal.

“We haven’t officially started rainy season, but it could be any day  now,” Kelly said. “Finally.”

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