Tropics Staying Alive


by Sarah Dillingham
CNN Meteorologist

After Hurricane Ernesto made landfall along the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula late last Wednesday, August 8, all weather eyes switched back to the tropics.  Conditions had remained quiet since mid-June when TS Debby’s drought-busting rains wreaked havoc across Florida, dropping over two feet of rain across northern portions of the state.  Tropical Storm Florence was a brief development last week, but fizzled rather quickly after becoming the Atlantic Hurricane season’s 6th named storm of 2012.  Tropical Depression 7 had its own quick run late last week, which had decent hopes of become Gordon, but failed to develop as its path over cooler waters proved to be too much for it to survive.

The National Hurricane Center is still monitoring the remnants of TD-7 as it enters the Caribbean, giving it a 10%, or low chance of development the next 48 hours.  Another wave located about 1200 miles west-northwest of the Cape Verde Islands also has a 10% chance of development, but even if this wave does develop in the coming days, early forecast models predict it to sharply recurve into the open waters of the Atlantic.

The Eastern Pacific has come alive in recent days with the development of Tropical Storm Hector off the western coast of Mexico, and another wave just south of Acapulco has been given a 20% chance of development over the next 48 hours.  TS Hector developed partially out of the remnants of Hurricane Ernesto, although not part of the original surface circulation, according to National Hurricane Center Specialist John Cangialosi.  He said, “The remnants of the surface circulation of Ernesto dissipated over the mountains of Mexico.  There was an upper-level circulation center associated with Ernesto that interacted with a separate system that went on to spawn Hector in the Pacific Basin.”

Over the next several days, forecasters will be monitoring the waves in the Atlantic and Pacific Basins for further development, and with the updated release of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season forecast by NOAA, everyone will surely be paying attention to see how busy the season will get.

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