We need to talk about FLORENCE

Friday 7th September 2018

Starting across south-eastern Florida, Disturbance Thirty Four has piped up from a tough of low pressure extending from the Yucatan Channel, through the Florida Straits and into the northern Bahamas. This is producing random thunderstorms and heavy rain showers which may last a day or so but won't develop.

In the far east, two systems are tracking across the convergence zone. Disturbance Thirty Two is around 2 days west of the Cape Verde Islands, westbound at 10 knots. This has a twinkle in its eye and a clear run with development opportunities towards the Caribbean, where it could arrive towards the end of next week. I wouldn't rule out development.

Two days astern, Disturbance Thirty Three is passing the Cape Verde Islands at around 10 knots and also headed west. Looking at aerial imagery, this looks to be inclining slightly north and may make an early turn into the Atlantic. This has a very favourable environment for development and quite soon. We need to talk about FLORENCE.

Currently 900 miles east-sou'east of Bermuda headed west-nor'west at 8 knots, this cyclone is crossing cool water and has weakened to a tropical storm but will begin deepening again quite soon. There is a cloud of uncertainty over FLORENCE but what is undeniable is that very favourable conditions await on this heading which, with a leisurely ground speed, will allow reintensification. Hurricane strength will resume shortly and then some. Predictions in intensification range from a categories three to five at peak. The current hurricane severity index rating is 5 out of a possible 50, made up of 2 points for size – which is a current tropical storm wind field of 75 miles - and 3 points for intensity, which more or less describes GORDON at landfall earlier this week. The peak index rating is a worrying 28 points, 13 for size -which represents a tropical storm wind field radius of 240 miles - and 15 for intensity. This is around the same size as France, which means that there is little chance of this not impacting on Bermuda. As to track, there are two possibilities. The American modellers have this turning north then east as it passes south of Bermuda keeping the storm centre away from the eastern seaboard. The European modellers have a landfall on the eastern seaboard but only a broad estimate of somewhere between the Carolinas and New Jersey. The Canadian guy is not wasting words. Category 5. South Carolina. I hope he's wrong.

Stand by for more tough nights at sea in the western Atlantic.