The Atlantic Hurricane Season is picking up with three different storms in the Atlantic Basin.
Both Isaac and Helene strengthened into Category 1 hurricanes Sunday evening. Since then Helene has strengthened into a Category 2 Hurricane, while Isaac has weakened into a Tropical Storm. The third storm is Hurricane Florence, which is becoming a serious concern to the US as it’s expected to approach the East Coast later this week as a major hurricane.
The Threat Of Florence: Florence is currently a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 130 mph.
Florence will stay out at sea through the first half of the week, but even at a distance it could produce rough seas and dangerous rip currents along the East Coast.
A large area of high pressure likely helps ‘steer’ Florence toward the East Coast over the coming days, with the Carolinas having the highest probability of a direct landfall. With that being the case, heavy rain and damaging winds will lash the Carolina coastline, and some of those impacts may be felt as far inland as Columbia, South Carolina as well as Raleigh, North Carolina.
The Tennessee Valley’s weather will be dependent on Florence’s track later this week too. The further south Florence moves, the more likely it is that we’ll benefit from the rain bands that bring intermittent heavy showers and storms to the region. The farther north Florence moves, the more likely we get hot and dry conditions since air descends, dries out and heats up in the periphery of tropical systems. The more likely outcome for us looks like the drier scenario.
Isaac and Helene: Florence is not the only tropical cyclone lurking in the Atlantic Basin. There are two other systems in the far eastern Atlantic that we’re watching.
Hurricane Helene developed off the western coast of Africa late Friday, and it is slowly moving south and west of the Cabo Verde Islands. It strengthened from a tropical storm into a hurricane on Sunday evening.
Hurricane Isaac formed Saturday, though it has since weakened to a tropical storm. It is currently east of the Lesser Antilles, though its forecast track does take it into the Windward Islands by the middle of the week.
Isaac is far enough south that it could affect the Caribbean and possibly even the Gulf of Mexico within the next 10-15 days. We’ll keep you posted!
You can keep up with updates regarding the tropics and track the storms with Live Alert 19!