Thursday, May 24, 2012

Could The Atlantic Have Another Tropical Storm Soon?

A few short days after Alberto developed and spun around off of the Carolinas, birthed off of the same cool front that generated the coastal system (non tropical) that impacted us on Monday, another tropical system is churning across Cuba and into the Atlantic, possibly setting itself up to develop into the second tropical system of the 2012 Atlantic season.

The next name on the list is Beryl.

The disturbance is working through Cuba early this morning, lifting northeast as a disorganized area of thunderstorms.  The upper level environment to its northwest is not favorable for development but as it lifts northeast and then north, there is a chance that the system could enter a more favorable environment as upper level winds diminish somewhat and the system sits over the Gulf Stream.

The GFS, Euro, and the higher resolution hurricane models show something developing off of South Carolina or North Carolina as we work into Saturday, with many of the models pivoting this system back southwest towards North Florida or Georgia by Monday in a very similar track to the one Alberto took earlier this week.  In many respects, this system may behave very similarly to Alberto except it will have a bit more tropical juice to work with thanks to its origins in the deeper tropics.

If anything does develop, it probably won't happen for a day or two until it can get into a more favorable environment east of Florida and south of the Carolinas.  One might look at HWRF depiction, above, as a bit bullish based on its radar depiction alone but the reality on wind speeds from the various computer models (and the HWRF) would suggest only a tropical storm at worst this weekend off of the Carolinas.  As of now, this wouldn't pose a threat up here in the Mid Atlantic as the system either gets sucked into the Southeast and rains itself out or meanders around off of the Carolinas before shooting northeast and weakening in the open Atlantic.

Should this system become a tropical (or subtropical) entity, it would be the first time since 1908 where two tropical systems were designated before the "official" start of the hurricane season.  It would also be the third time since records were kept that two tropical entities developed before June 1, joining 1887 as the other year in the list.