Saturday, 16 February, 2019

Tracking the Tropics: Keeping an eye on the Atlantic

New predictions for hurricanes, storms in the Caribbean this season National Hurricane Center monitoring two tropical disturbances
Sandy Nunez | 07 July, 2018, 22:59

Hurricane season started early this year with the development of Subtropical Storm Alberto, the first named cyclone of the Atlantic hurricane season. Tiny (now) Tropical Storm Beryl defied the odds and unexpectedly strengthened (briefly) into a hurricane despite a rather hostile environment of cooler than normal waters, dry air, and Saharan dust.

However, it is forecast to lose its intensity over the weekend.

Beryl is now expected to pass near Dominica and the French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique early Monday as a tropical wave and then continue south of Puerto Rico. It's projected to move west and north, between Bermuda and the east coast of the United States. The Category 1 storm is expected to achieve wind speeds of 100 miles per hour, reaching Category 2 status, over the next day before gradually weakening to tropical storm force.

Right now, the National Hurricane Center is not tracking any tropical depressions or storms.

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 65 miles per hour with higher gusts.

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Then at the end of May, although the predicted number of storms remained the same, it was forecast that six would become hurricanes, two of them major.

The National Hurricane Center describes Beryl as a "very compact hurricane", with hurricane-force winds extending 10 miles from the center, and tropical-storm force winds seen up to 35 miles from the center. Last year, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria helped rack up storm losses totaling more than $200 billion, the most ever.

SPECIAL FEATURE: At 11am today, Tropical Depression Two formed over the central Tropical Atlantic.

While tropical storms can develop any time from February through December, July storms are somewhat unusual, according to the NHC. One bright spot for farmers: The remnants of many tropical systems could bring much-needed rain to crops in the Great Plains and Midwest.