Invest AL98

There are two active storms in the Atlantic, Hurricane Fiona (NHC Key Messages regarding Hurricane Fiona) should pass close enough to cause moderate impacts to Bermuda before making landfall in the Canadian Maritime provinces Saturday Night/Sunday. The US East Coast will see dangerous rip currents from its waves this week. Gaston may be best, and the rest all drips, but Belle knows that as a tropical cyclone he’s never going to be much of a hurricane, limited to annoying the shipping industry and perhaps some minor impacts to the Azores. Here are the swaths …

click to embiggen.

But there is an invest area that has those who profit from weather paranoia most excited, so let’s take a closer look at AL98, a disturbance approaching the southern Caribbean. NHC’s five day outlook has it tagged with a 70% chance of becoming a depression in the next two days, and a 90% chance by this weekend. Here is what some of the models are showing as a track this morning:

raw spaghetti, cook before consumption.

For the Windward Islands, most likely it will just bring some gusty winds and rain. After that, conditions in the central and western Caribbean as well as Gulf of Mexico are forecast to be pretty favorable (if #1) so if it follows a track that takes it into the Gulf (if #2) it could develop into a significant hurricane. The models have been showing a fairly wide spread as shown in the above track map, but recently they have converged a bit. Here is a snapshot of the GFS (orange), ECM (European, cyan), and CMC (Canadian,green) models for a week from Tuesday Evening (28 Sept 2022). All show a hurricane near the Yucatan Straits.

click if you dare.

Both the GFS and ECM show a significant storm hitting Florida in about a week – ECM south Florida (south of Sarasota), GFS on the panhandle. BUT THE MODELS ARE NOT RELIABLE THAT FAR OUT! There is a reason that NHC doesn’t do seven to ten day forecasts, especially for storms that don’t exist yet! Yes, it is a little concerning the model runs have become more consistent, but we have seen that before and then nothing happens. If you have a hurricane plan, (you DO have one, right?) there is nothing to get excited about. Assuming something spins up there is plenty of time to see if those two big ifs materialize, and the storm does track towards the US, to then do something about it. In the Caribbean definitely need to be watching, but for the US, will be a couple of days before anything solid can be said.

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