Beaufort Scale The Beaufort scale is used to estimate wind
Well it’s that time of the year again, when eyes are focused on the Atlantic ocean. The 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season started off with a bang with 2 named storms forming in May and a further 2 forming in June. We went through the whole of July without a single tropical storm forming, but when August came around, this started to heat up again. Ernesto, Florence, Helen and Gordon all formed in August, leaving the current total at 8/3/0 (tropical storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes), with much of the season still to come. There has certainly been some hostile conditions along the way though with storms moving too fast to establish themselves or struggling with dry air.
As it stands today though, we are sitting looking at a couple of interesting potential long-tracker Cape Verde storms, the first of which is 94L. 94L moved off the African coast and almost immediately after touching down it was labelled an invest, models – especially the GFS had been hinting that this would be a fast developing strong storm, long ahead of time. But as with the pattern this season 94L while maintaining itself, never really ramped up as forecast, and instead tracked westwards along the Atlantic, towards the United States. As with most long trackers, a stronger storm will move north and a weaker storm further westwards and south, meaning that the weaker storms are more likely to pose a threat to the US, as they can ramp up quickly as they approach.
94L has now gained convection over it’s center and is looking like a very good candidate to become Tropical Storm Isaac, possibly today as an Air Force Recon plane is scheduled to investigate the system later today. It wouldn’t surprise me if they find a tropical storm and not a depression.
The model forecasts for Invest 94L, or future Isaac – look to be in line with each other for the most part with the GFS, EURO and CMC all showing a strong hurricane making landfall in the US. Both the GFS and the EURO favour a solution that would impact Florida, while the CMC seems to prefer South Carolina as it’s landfall destination. Needless to say with three global models now forecasting a hurricane landfall, everyone’s eyes have perked up and there will be many sleepless nights ahead for those tracking this storm. While I do not want to put all my eggs in one basket, the I-name has a history of being big ones and if the models are to be believed, we may well have another.
Also in the Atlantic, behind 94L there is Invest 96L which recently came off the African coast and was also extremely quick to be labelled as an invest, the NHC looks to be thinking development chances are quite good with a 50% development chance in the next 48 hours. It will also be one to watch over the coming days, but with it so far out – future Tropical Storm Isaac definitely warrants all current attention.