Last week I discussed several indicators that pointed to the likely development of several systems across the Tropical Atlantic this week. Just as the models were predicting, a very strong disturbance over Africa a week ago developed into Hurricane Danielle yesterday. To the east of Danielle just south of the Cape Verde Islands is a very strong Disturbance 41, which is what I think will become the next named storm of the season, Earl, later today or on Wednesday.
The good news is that it appears both Danielle and Earl-to-be (Disturbance 41) should turn to the north prior to reaching the eastern Caribbean Sea, which is something we were forecasting prior to the start of the 2010 season. The weaker Bermuda High this season would probably result in a number of storms that form in the far eastern Atlantic staying safely out to sea. It will be the storms that form farther west, in the Caribbean Sea, east of the Bahamas or in the Gulf of Mexico that will be the greater threats to land in 2010.
That’s why we need to keep a close eye on the weakest feature on the map above, Disturbance 37. The disturbance consists of a westward moving tropical wave that has limited thunderstorm activity associated with it. But it is in a region where rapid development almost always results in an impact with very little warning. I do not see much model support for development, but I think that this disturbance could get a little better organized when it moves across the southwestern Gulf on Wednesday and Thursday. I can’t rule out a tropical depression or a weak tropical storm before it moves inland into northern Mexico on Thursday or Friday. Most likely, though, it will remain a disturbance or a weak area of low pressure that brings heavy squalls to the southwestern Gulf of Mexico and heavy rain into northeastern Mexico later this week.
In the long range, today’s computer models are beginning to focus on yet another strong wave still over Africa as the next named storm after Earl. In fact, one model yesterday forecast this African wave to reach the Gulf of Mexico as a hurricane by around September 7th. That’s quite far out to be believed, but it does indicate that the Atlantic Basin may finally be exhibiting characteristics of the very active hurricane season which was predicted. I think that the month of September will be very active, with several major threats to the Caribbean and the U.S. Above-normal activity may persist through October and into November this season.