Two potential hurricanes on radar
Tuesday 23rd August 2016
Satellite imagery reveals that there is not much left of FIONA, a small patch of barely defined remnants now. This will continue to move toward the west over the next 24 hours until it finally dissipates. There is no threat to land.
Disturbance twenty seven rose through the ranks rapidly, became tropical depression seven briefly before reaching tropical storm strength as GASTON. This is on course to become a hurricane soon, and a strong one at that. Currently centred around 550 miles west-sou'west of the Cape Verde Islands, this has already started to curve away from the convergence zone – now on a west-nor'westerly heading at 18 knots. Lush warm water ahead and a reduction in ground speed will charge this further. At present, this has 60 knot winds at its peak with tropical storm force winds over a 70 mile radius but is expected to peak in around three days time to winds in excess of 110 knots. There is a chance that this may head in the general direction of Bermuda but even the wildest commentator doesn't see this having any impact on the islands whatsoever. There are vicious days and nights ahead for fish and sailors, but the rest of us can sleep easily.
Disturbance twenty six is now 275 miles east of Antigua and moving west-nor'west at 15 knots with maximum winds of around 30 knots. Shifting pressure patterns to the west and north will push this away over the northern Bahamas by Sunday at which time this may reach tropical storm strength. Thereafter, a track towards the Florida Peninsula and into the northeast Gulf may be expected early next week. Once in the eastern Gulf of Mexico by Monday, environmental conditions may be favourable for steady strengthening as the storm makes a landfall next Wednesday somewhere along the Florida panhandle, quite possibly as a hurricane. The good people of the northern Bahamas and the Florida peninsula are already being encouraged to blow the dust from their hurricane response plans. If they aren't, they should. For now, gusty winds and squalls are to be expected across the islands of the north east Caribbean within the next few hours. Rainfall totals of 3-5 inches with locally heavier amounts up to 8 inches may be possible, resulting in flooding in some areas.
Stormy conditions are expected to worsen in the east central Atlantic and early warning for the Bahamas and the Florida peninsula, otherwise stand easy.