The Atlantic has become fairly active over the last week or so, fitting well with the climatological upswing in activity this time of year. Follow the Bermuda Weather Service and National Hurricane Center for the latest official weather information and forecast.
Gaston strengthened into the Atlantic’s first major hurricane of the 2016 season over the weekend and on Monday as the Hurricane stalled to the distant east of Bermuda. Gaston has since picked up a slow east-northeast motion today – away from Bermuda. As of the noon advisory, Gaston is a category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 105mph.
The only impacts from Gaston have been and is only expected to be an increased swell for which a small craft advisory has been in effect. While no adverse weather conditions are expected on Bermuda from Gaston, this hurricane could threaten the Azores as early as Friday as a strong tropical storm or weakening hurricane.
Tropical Depression 8
Meanwhile, the remnants of Tropical Storm Fiona were absorbed into the remnants of a weak frontal system that brought several days of scattered showers and thunderstorms to Bermuda. A heavy, slow-moving, thunderstorm brought flooding to low-lying and poor drainage regions of Bermuda from the initial frontal system. This combined energy organized into a tropical low to the south of Bermuda on Friday that brought bands of gusty showers to the island.
That tropical low has since become Tropical Depression Eight (TD8) as it tracked westward, towards North Carolina. Strong southeasterly vertical wind shear over TD8 has thus far kept the depression from strengthening much on its approach to North Carolina. However, this shear is lessening, and the depression is tracking into a more moist environment and over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, these factors should allow some strengthening today. TD8 should then turn to the northeast this afternoon/tonight, and become extratropical as it tracks into the North Atlantic.
As of the noon advisory, TD8 remained disorganized and weak with maximum sustained winds near 35mph. No adverse weather is expected from TD8.
Tropical Depression 9
Further, Tropical Depression 9 (TD9) formed in the Florida Straights Sunday afternoon. TD9 has been slow to organize due to strong northwesterly vertical wind shear over the last day or so. However, today that wind shear is lessening as the depression moves into the central/southern Gulf of Mexico. This should allow some steady strengthening as TD9 slowly moves northwards and then northeastwards over the next three days.
TD9 is expected to become a tropical storm, and possibly strengthen into a hurricane as it approaches the Gulf Coast of Florida on Thursday. Tropical Storm or Hurricane Watches will likely be required later today or early tomorrow for portions of Florida. As of the noon advisory, TD9 is forecast to continue northeastwards, crossing Florida into the southwestern Atlantic and potentially threatening Bermuda over the weekend as it passes to the northwest of the island and transitions to an extratropical cyclone.
Finally, another vigorous tropical wave is exiting the west coast of Africa in that infamous Cape Verde region. There is substantial model guidance that supports this tropical wave becoming the next Atlantic tropical cyclone as it tracks westward into the Central Atlantic. The National Hurricane Center gives this wave a 40% (medium) chance of becoming a tropical cyclone in the next five days. All tropical cyclones in the central Atlantic should be monitored as they could become a potential threat to Bermuda.