Tropical storm EMILY, the fifth tropical cyclone of the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season was generated earlier today near the Lesser Antilles, where it is causing vast amounts of rain and thunder storms. EMILY is moving into the Caribbean aiming in the general direction of Hispaniola. The five-day forecast places EMILY over the Florida straits by Saturday 6 August 2011, but it is important to keep in mind there is a large margin of error in such a long-range forecast in addition to the possibility that the storm, if it follows the currently projected track, may interact with 3,000 meter-high mountains in Hispaniola with consequences for the integrity, strength and trajectory of the storm that are impossible to estimate at this time.
Despite this uncertainty about where Tropical Storm EMILY might be in five days all interests in the Bahamas, Northern Cuba and South Florida must remain alert and prepared, monitoring the progress of EMILY closely from now on.
In addition to the possibility that EMILY may directly hit the United States, or the Bahamas or one or several countries around the Caribbean basin, I’d recommend all interests in the larger tropical Atlantic basin, including the Gulf of Mexico, pay attention to several tropical waves and cells of disturbed weather now following EMILY along Hurricane Alley as well as several other similar waves now active over equatorial Africa, which are marching toward the warm waters of the eastern Atlantic. It is clear that Hurricane Alley and the Tropical-Wave assembly Line over equatorial Africa have reached a much higher level of activity in recent days.
The satellite images that follow give us a good idea of the size and location of the several tropical waves on Hurricane Alley and over the western region of equatorial Africa, which may warrant closer monitoring in days to come:
Now more than before is the time to Pay Attention, Be Prepared and to Practice Mitigation!! Current conditions combining rather warm surface waters throughout the basin, little to no wind shear aloft, and the presence of several tropical waves and cells of disturbed weather, create an environment that is favorable for cyclogenesis.