Elsewhere in the tropical Atlantic the National Hurricane Center is watching a couple other areas. An area near Central America has been circled but given 0% chance of developing into a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours. But the real focus is on the orange circle which is Invest 91L. That area has been given a 50% chance of becoming a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours.
91L is a vigorous tropical wave that will be able to gradually organize in the coming days. It does have vorticity in all levels, in fact you can actually see some of that cyclonic action in the visible satellite. The environment is somewhat favorable for development. Upper level wind shear is light to moderate, which means that the dry air to the northwest of the system will be less likely to get entrained into its engine.
The computer models are quite enthusiastic about developing this Invest. These forecast tracks will change several times over the next few days, but it is intimidating to see them all pointing at the US coast like this. A couple of the models have this system as a tropical storm in as little as 24 hours. This should put the folks in the northern windward islands all the way to Puerto Rico on alert. Based on the current conditions and the forecast models, we could be looking at our 5th tropical cyclone in the Atlantic soon.
With just 48 hours left in July, the race for Emily is on. The last time we made it to the 'E' storm in July was the record breaking season of 2005 when we made it 5 letters deep into the Greek Alphabet. That year we even got to the 'G' storm in July when Tropical Storm Gert formed on July 24th. Lets not also forget that was the year of Katrina.
Emily herself is already a record holder. She is the only name, since 1979 when we added boy names to the mix and started the 6 year rotation , to have reached major hurricane strength 3 times. (Cat 4 in '05, Cat 3 in '93, Cat 3 in '87). If she manages to once again reach major hurricane status it will be her 4th such occurrence. In case your wondering, all time 2 other names have reached major hurricane status 4 times. Frances in 2004, 1980, 1976, and 1961, and Ella in 1978, 1969, 1962, and 1958.
|Cat 5 Emily July 16th, 2005|