Wednesday, July 31st 2019, 10:50 am - Tropical activity is picking up in the eastern Pacific as we watch for potential tropical development in the Atlantic over the next week
We're watching increased activity in the tropics this week, including two healthy tropical systems in the eastern Pacific, and a couple of potential development areas in the Atlantic basin which will bear close attention in the coming days.
This upswing in activity is happening right on schedule, climatologically speaking. We often see the tropics become more active in early August as the season ramps up towards its peak in mid-September.
Hurricane Erick and Hurricane Flossie are currently churning across the eastern Pacific.
Erick took advantage of a favourable environment and intensified quickly on Tuesday, reaching Category 4 strength about 24 hours after becoming a hurricane. By Wednesday morning, Erick was maintaining Category 3 status with winds over 200 km/h, although with gradual weakening expected to occur.
Erick will likely pass far south of the Hawaiian Islands later this week, but by this time the storm should weaken considerably as it enters an area of stronger wind shear.
Hurricane Flossie also strengthened to a Category 1 storm and is currently located further from Hawaii, but may pose a greater threat for direct impacts to the islands as it takes a more northerly track this week. Like Erick, Flossie will likely increase in strength over the coming days, before battling drier air and more wind shear as it moves towards the central Pacific.
In the Atlantic, we’re watching two areas of disturbed weather with the potential for tropical development.
WATCHING THE LONG RANGE POTENTIAL FOR TROPICAL ACTIVITY IN THE ATLANTIC
This first is bringing some heavy rain squalls to the Antilles, with a very low chance of development into a more organized system through this week. Into the weekend conditions will improve slightly for this system, as it moves near Florida and the Bahamas, where the current forecast gives is a 10% chance of developing into a tropical cyclone.
Off the coast of Africa, another tropical wave is moving near Cape Verde. Right now this system is battling some dry Saharan air and an unfavourable wind pattern for development, but it will need to be watched closely as it makes its long trek across the Atlantic. Current forecasts give this system a 20% chance of development into a tropical cyclone through 5 days. If this storm does develop, it could potentially threaten the North American coast 10 or more days from now.
The next disturbance that reaches tropical storm status in the Atlantic will be named Chantal.