Two named storms and another wave with potential are in the Atlantic basin

It’s 2020, so there should be no surprise that the Atlantic basin is lighting up in Augu – wait, it’s late July. Huh.

So, let’s go with one storm at a time.

Gonzalo, which was named a tropical storm Wednesday morning, was centered 445 miles to the east of the southern Windward Islands and moving west at 18 mph as of Friday afternoon. Pressure was at 1008 millibars.

Compared earlier in the week, the system looks a bit disorganized based on its appearance on satellite imagery Friday afternoon. Convection continues to fire up near the center, but a spiral appearance is lacking.

Hurricane Hunter reconnaissance aircraft was investigating the storm Friday and, based off of a flight path as of this writing, Max sustained winds measured ranged between 25 to 25 knots (there were higher amounts, but those are suspected to be erroneous).

Regardless, the southern Windward Islands could still see tropical storm conditions along with a flooding threat as it’s expected to impact that area Friday night through Saturday.

After it moves into the Caribbean Sea, it’s still expected to encounter some wind shear and a drier environment. And model guidance is weakening the intensity of the wind over the weekend. But these smaller storms can be a tad tricky with respect to intensity, so it should be monitored.

As for the track, the European model is keeping the storm on more of a westward trek with the American GFS going more west-northwestward. The European is likely keeping a stronger ridge of high pressure over the region, keeping the storm moving more westward.

GFS’ ensemble members over the next 120 hours with intensities. (Source: Weathernerds.org)
ECMWF ensemble members and intensities over the next 120 hours (Source: Weathernerds.org)

Next is Hanna, the storm that is confusing Twitter because Amazon is also promoting it’s new show concurrently.

Hanna was located 230 miles east of Corpus Christi, Texas Friday afternoon as it moved west-northwest, aiming for the Texas coastline. It’s expected to make landfall sometime Saturday. Maximum sustained winds were at 50 mph. The official forecast has Hanna making landfall as a Hurricane.

Hanna was looking better over the last 24 hours, but continues to have drier air intrude on its northern side. This is inhibiting some organization and is keeping the convection symmetrical.

Water vapor imagery (Band 8) from GOES-16 showing drier air to the north of Tropical Storm Hanna Friday afternoon. (Source: NOAA)

Hurricane Hunter reconnaissance finished investigating the tropical storm late Friday afternoon, and found sustained winds of up to 45 knots with a minimum central pressure near 1000 millibars.

It will be a heavy rain threat with upwards of 6 to 10 inches of rain possibly potentially falling in southern Texas over the next three days with a slight to moderate risk of flash flooding. Those in Texas should pay attention to their local officials and meteorologists for the latest.

Rainfall forecast for the western Gulf of Mexico and inland areas associated with Tropical Storm Hanna through Monday evening. (Source: WPC/NOAA)

And, last but not least, what may be Invest 92L. This is a tropical wave that the National Hurricane Center was watching 300 miles south-southeast of the Cabo Verde Islands off of Africa’s west coast.

GOES-16 satellite image of the tropical wave (on right side of the image off of the African coast) that is being watched for possible development. (Source: NOAA)

The National Hurricane Center is giving this wave a 40% chance of development over the next five days as gradual development of this system is possible.

(Source: NOAA)

The European model is already cranking out ensemble runs of the disturbance. But there is plenty of time to watch this low over the next several days.

Climatologically speaking, the Atlantic hurricane season is expected to heat up once August arrives. Those in hurricane-prone areas should be ready for whatever nurture (or 2020) throws at them.

This story was updated to reflect the changed forecast for Tropical Storm Hanna.

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