Tropical Storm Irma… what to expect

Columbus (WCMH) – We are not even close to being done talking about Harvey, and already there is another storm brewing in the Atlantic, Irma!  Irma (pronounced ER-mah) is currently a moderate tropical storm, but is forecast to become stronger, and will be something the US and Caribbean will have to keep our eyes on in the next two weeks.

What is going on with all these storms all of a sudden?

Remember, this was forecast to be a more active than normal hurricane season this year, and that is keeping up to its promise so far.  Irma is the 9th named storm, and we are still about 11 days away from the peak of Hurricane Season in the Atlantic.

 

What is the latest on Irma?

Irma is currently a tropical storm, and has winds in the 60 mile per hour range, and is expected to slowly intensify over the next 24 hours.  Right now, it is still moving over not amazingly warm waters, so it should not explode in intensity yet.

The storm is expected to become a hurricane by Friday and should remain a cat. 1 to maybe a cat 2 storm by the time Labor day rolls around.  High pressure will steer this storm mainly west for the next few days, but will actually push the storm a bit southwest by Sunday & Monday.

Below is an image from NCAR with the model intensity on this storm.

Notice the model consensus is a Hurricane Irma by Friday, and possibly becoming a major hurricane by the weekend.

The official forecast from the National Hurricane Center is a bit more conservative for the next 5 days, keeping it a strong Cat.1 by Monday morning.

 

What is the future of Irma into next week?

Depends on what run of what forecast model you are looking at.  The American model has this thing making a big turn, and turning well to the east of the Bahamas, and going just west of Bermuda, but far east of the US coast by next weekend (9/9, 9/10).

The European model has the turn taking much longer, and could allow this storm to have more on an impact on the Bahamas and the East Coast of the United States.

I hate to jump too far on one model vs another 10-14 days out, especially with the amount of spread with this.  But for our friends and family in the southeast, and eastern US, this will be something to watch.

 

Added bad news for the Gulf of Mexico!

The National Hurricane Center is watching for the potential development of a low over the southwest Gulf.  Right now they have 20% chance for development, which is low, but anything would be bad news.

This is the same area the GFS (American) long range model has been showing for rain along the Texas, and northern Gulf coast for next week.

 

 

This is something we will keep an eye on, and I am sure our friends to the south will closely too!

 

If you ever have questions about the tropics, hurricanes, or any other weather questions, email me, dmazza@wcmh.com

 

-Dave

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