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Submitted by Tim Buckley on Wed, 09/08/2010 - 8:15am.
It looks like Deja Vu all over again in the tropics. After a brief break, the storms are coming back. In fact, I feel like I'm writing the same blog entry I wrote three weeks ago when I warned that Africa was heating up.
At that time, headlines were lampooning forecasters for "over-hyping" the Atlantic Hurricane season by forecasting high numbers. Seems a little crazy now, huh? Since then, we've seen Danielle, Earl, Fiona, Gaston, and most recently Hermine. Even though only Hermine and Earl had impacts on the U.S., we can see that this season has the potential to be a nasty one. Just imagine if the pattern had been slightly different and had pushed the storm activity slightly farther west.
Well now we're sounding the whistles again. Several big storms in a row quieted down the waters of the Atlantic for a brief time, but the African picture looks just as it did a few weeks ago. One wave after the other, each making their way to the coast, likely destined to be our next named storms.
It looks like the first of these waves to be christened by the Hurricane Center is already off the coast near the Cape Verde Islands. As you can see on this morning's satellite image, it's already fairly organized. In fact, it looks just like Danielle and Earl did at that stage -- both of which became Category 4 Hurricanes by the time they got to the Caribbean Islands.
The models are all jumping on board with this idea. In fact, look at the following plots of four major tropical models. Each of these images are the 168-hour forecast valid next Tuesday evening. The GFS, the Canadian (CMC), the Navy NOGAPs, and the European (ECMWF) all blow up this wave into a powerful storm -- with a line of storms right behind it.
Looking at these maps, you could take the time stamps off and easily convince me those were Danielle and Earl. Instead, that's the forecast. Frankly, at this time next week I'd be shocked if we don't already have Hurricane Igor (cue up the Frankenstein jokes, I know) making his way across the Atlantic, with Julia close behind.
Now, this is far in advance - so it's irresponsible to speculate on the exact tracks or timing of these systems. But the point is, lets look ahead in the future and assess what type of pattern we're facing. The answer? One of high tropical activity with many more named Cape Verde hurricanes making their way west.
In other words? We're going to be busy tracking lots of storms next week - perhaps even playing the heartburn game Earl forced us to play.
That's all for now.
**Added note: After writing this blog this morning, the NHC named the Cape Verde Wave Tropical Storm Igor**
By: Tim Buckley