The NHC has issued the following statement:
SATELLITE IMAGES AND QUIKSCAT DATA INDICATE THAT TROPICAL DEPRESSIONTHREE HAS BECOME A TROPICAL STORM WITH ESTIMATED MAXIMUM WINDS OF40 MPH…65 KM/HR WITH HIGHER GUSTS. CHANTAL IS LOCATED ABOUT 330MILES…530 KM…SOUTH OF HALIFAX NOVA SCOTIA AND IS MOVING RAPIDLYTOWARD THE NORTHEAST NEAR 23 MPH…37 KM/HR. CHANTAL IS NOT ATHREAT TO THE UNITED STATES.
This storm is no threat to the Gulf of Mexico, obviously, but is indicative of the increased activity in the Atlantic Basin. Of more concern for us, albeit minor concern, is Invest 99L in the central atlantic. If this low pressure system develops and if it survives the dry air north of it, it could become the 4th named storm, Dean, of this year. Unfortunately, it could also present a threat to the Gulf of Mexico if it tracks further north.
Elsewhere in the Atlantic, things are churning but on the whole all remains fairly quiet.
The Atlantic Basin is beginning to show much more moisture and convection, and possible sign that the “lull” in the hurricane season is ending.
Many experts are suggesting that we could start seeing tropical systems form in the Atlantic as early as next week. Conditions in the Gulf of Mexico are also beginning to become more favorable for storm development.
Currently, there are no significant areas of interest, but from accounts, that is likely to change over the next two weeks. When and if the tropics start flaring up, we will be in a better position to determine who is “under the gun”.
There is a tropical wave approaching the Bahamas that some models are expecting formation into a tropical system that would approach southern Florida on or around the 19th.
There are dry air masses ahead of and behind the tropical wave, so development will be tricky.
While the Atlantic remains fairly quiet, conditions are slowly becoming more favorable for development as we move towards August (the “meat” of our hurricane season).
I expect that the official season analysis will show a reduction in the number of predicted storms, however, I can all but guarantee you all that this season will NOT be as quiet as 2006 was. As always, I hope I am wrong.