8:08PM August 22, 2019

GROWING CHANCE OF TROPICAL STORM FORMATION EAST OF FLORIDA… There’s good news and there’s not so good news to report this evening in the tropics. The good news is that regardless of if this particular tropical system develops into a tropical storm, it won’t be a factor in the forecast for Alabama or northwest Florida. The not so good news is that our friends along the East Coast may have a soggy weekend. The National Hurricane Center says there is a 50% chance that a tropical storm may form this weekend east of Florida, Georgia, or the Carolinas. Let’s look at details in this tropical update…

INVEST 98L DEVELOPING OVER THE BAHAMAS… Right now, there is a developing area of low pressure currently situated right over The Bahamas just southeast of south Florida. Just in the last hour, the National Hurricane Center is observing that the broad area of low pressure is centered just northwest of Andros Island in The Bahamas. This area of disturbed weather is producing a large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms near and to the east of the low pressure center. The system has been branded as INVEST 98L, which is a formal way to keep up with and classify specific tropical waves. The number is arbitrary (90-99 are used) and L stands for the AtLantic basin.

MODEL DISAGREEMENT LOOMS LARGE… We note that there is a substantial model disagreement that persists this evening with the ECMWF/Euro model developing the system into a tropical storm east of the South Carolina coast this weekend. The Euro ultimately moves the system out to sea into the middle of the north Atlantic Ocean, well away from land areas. The Global Forecast System (GFS), another highly reliable weather model, has consistently indicated a weaker solution, showing no formal tropical storm development. The GFS does, however, take the disorganized tropical wave out to sea as well. Big takeaway here is: Early indications point to a system moving AWAY from land, regardless of if development happens or not.

NO DIRECT LOCAL IMPACTS ARE EXPECTED… Let me stress highly: No direct local impacts in Alabama or northwest Florida are expected because of this system, whether development happens or not. This will likely be a rainmaker for parts of eastern Florida, eastern Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, but other than that, there’s a good chance this system doesn’t cause major impacts for any land areas. Great news!

CHANTAL IS ON THE WAY OUT… We’ve been tracking a very weak, disorganized Tropical Depression Chantal today. The system is about halfway between North America and Europe, far away from any land areas. Further weakening is expected and Chantal will likely dissipate this weekend.

THE REST OF THE ATLANTIC BASIN IS QUIET… This is GREAT news for late August! The Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and the remainder of the Atlantic Ocean remain quiet as of now. I do not see anything cropping up on the model data that suggests an imminent threat due to a tropical system outside of INVEST 98L. The climatological peak of the Atlantic hurricane season happens around September 11, so now is the time to really start monitoring things closely. August, September, and October are always the most active “hurricane months” each year in our basin. So far, we’ve been pretty quiet. That may (or may not) change as we go into September. Stay tuned!

APP ALERTS… Be sure to download the free RedZone Weather app (redzoneweather.com/app is the link for the free download) and set up your customized alerts. Once you have the RZW app downloaded to your iOS or Android device, visit the Alerts tab (lower right corner), then tap the large, yellow “Alert Settings” button to customize the specific alerts you would like to receive. We have a solution for everyone – folks that want a lot of information and folks that may only want the important, rare alerts. Check out details in the Alerts tab today!

I’ll have your full forecast video posted by 7:15AM on Friday. See you then!

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