Just as forecast in our previous posting, the storm at the western end of Hurricane Alley is now a tropical cyclone named Tropical Storm BRET, which makes the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season officially open, that is if you are willing to consider Tropical Storm ARLENE (April 2017) and ‘off-season’ tropical cyclone in the Atlantic.
Tropical Storm BRET appears to be headed for Trinidad as it skirts the coast of Venezuela and the southeastern Caribbean beyond where the environment will not favor further development of this system.
Farther west and north in the central Gulf of Mexico the other storm we’ve been watching continues to strengthen and appears of the brink of becoming a tropical cyclones as it moves northward toward Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.
Meanwhile in the eastern Atlantic. tropical waves continue to emerge from the assembly line over equatorial Africa. There appears to be plenty of ‘fuel’ for potential cyclonic activity in coming days. Get ready. Remain alert. Be prepared. MITIGATE!
It appeared as a large storm cell over Equatorial Africa nineteen days ago, when tropical cyclones KARL and LISA were moving in the Atlantic, moving westward to emerge as one more tropical wave over the eastern Atlantic. As this tropical wave rode along ‘hurricane alley’ toward the Windward Islands our attention focused mainly on KARL and LISA.
And then, THERE IT WAS! Tropical Storm MATTHEW was active over the southeastern Caribbean near the Venezuelan coast moving rather slowly westward.
And now, this morning of Thursday 6 October at 6:30 A.M. MAJOR HURRICANE MATTHEW was located 350 kilometers (228 miles) from Miami over The Bahamas, strengthening yet again and getting better organized as it moved in the general direction of Southeast Florida at 18 kph (~11.5 mph).
This is truly a dangerous hurricane, which has already caused death and destruction and plenty of damage in several countries in its path including, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Cuba, and the Bahamas. Florida is now in MATTHEW’s sights, as well as other Atlantic states beyond.
Is MATTHEW THE BIG ONE we have speculated about for quite some time now? After eleven years here in Florida without being hit by a hurricane, perhaps suffering from ‘hurricane amnesia’, let’s trust that thanks to the great work of the National Hurricane Center, the on-camera TV meteorologist, and emergency management officials, the message has been heeded and we are prepared for the impending punch from MATTHEW!
While we focus on MATTHEW and brace for impact here in paradise, we must remain aware of Tropical Storm NICOLE looming in the Atlantic east by northeast of Matthew, and also tropical wave 99L approaching the Windward Islands chased by a large glub of disturbed weather riding ‘hurricane alley’ to the east.
So, in addition to MATTHEW’s impending threat, there are other hazards nearby and plenty of fuel for potential tropical cyclone generation in the not so distant horizon over the eastern Atlantic.
Let us keep in mind that there is still plenty of ‘official’ hurricane season left in the Atlantic in 2016. We must pay attention continuing to monitor all of these potential threats. Remain alert. Be prepared. MITIGATE!