As we had anticipated the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season has shifted into a higher gear and on 13 August 2011 we have Tropical Storm FRANKLIN, the 6th named tropical cyclone of the season, and three tropical waves with potential for cyclonic development, all active in the Atlantic basin.
FRANKLIN was some 300 – 400 kilometers northeast of Bermuda at 0645 EST moving east by northeast, in the general direction of the Azores Islands in the North Atlantic. Because of its track and the fact that it is already moving over much cooler waters. where sea surface temperatures are below 26 Celsius, it is difficult to predict how the intensity of the storm may evolve over time and although it is expected to to decline over the next 24-48 hours it is also possible for some intensification to occur in the near term.
The National Hurricane Center is investigating tropical waves designated as 92L, 93L and 94L, which in the early morning of 13 August 2011 were respectively located at 20N-50W, 12N – 34W and 26N – 58W. All of these tropical waves are showing signs of organization and potential for cyclonic development in the next 24 – 48 hours.
As we monitor these active systems it is important to also pay attention at several cells of disturbed weather marching west over equatorial Africa, which may become the next tropical waves to emerge over the eastern Atlantic in the next 12 – 36 hours.
In observing this current tropical activity in the Atlantic basin it is interesting so see how the typical “belt of tropical activity”, that typically circles the Earth near the equator, has been disrupted by strong weather fronts and ridges marching generally east by northeast over the USA and the northern Atlantic. This is shown in the composite satellite image below: