Tropical Storm Gaston over the Subtropical Central Atlantic with 65 MPH winds. Gaston includes non-tropical characteristics which makes it a hybrid storm. NOAA Satellite Image September 22, 2022

Atlantic Basin Becomes Active After Quiet Summer

The Sub-Tropical Atlantic Low Pressure Area mentioned in the September 19 post on Major Hurricane Fiona became Tropical Depression Eight at 1500 UTC on Tuesday. Although no watches or warnings were issued, the National Hurricane Center in Florida stated that interests in the Azores should monitor the storm’s progress. By 2100 UTC, further organization and intensity prompted the NHC to name the cyclone Tropical Storm Gaston.

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Tropical Storm Gaston further intensified with 65 MPH winds as it heads generally east-northeast toward an area just north of the Azores. It will briefly turn south while it undergoes a transition to an extratropical cyclone, then turn back toward the northwest.

The NHC mentions in its discussion today that Gaston is not purely tropical and is probably a hybrid system gaining energy from local atmospheric conditions.

Gaston will gain strength over the next 12 hours and could near hurricane strength before gradually weakening over the next few days in a region of dryer air and increasing wind shear.

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Wide variances in computer models could bring the storm closer to the Azores before it executes a U-turn and picks up forward speed away from the islands. The strong tropical-force winds will bring high seas and heavy surf to the Azores. Residents and other interests should continue to monitor Gaston for changes in the forecast.

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5 Active Systems the Atlantic

Atlantic Tropical Forecast September 21, 2022. NOAA NHC Graphic

After a relatively quiet summer and an unimpressive hurricane season peak, the tropical Atlantic turned active.
NOAA National Hurricane Center Graphic September 21, 2022.

With Tropical Storm Gaston, there are a total of five tropical systems to monitor over the Atlantic, up from three just two days ago.

Hurricane Fiona

Hurricane Fiona has intensified to a category 4 storm, the first of the season. It may weaken to a category 3 major hurricane sometimes tomorrow.  Tropical Storm Warnings and a Hurricane Watch are in effect for Bermuda. Fiona could make landfall on Nova Scotia on Saturday and Newfoundland and Labrador on Sunday as strong hurricane-strength extratropical cyclone. Atlantic Canada should closely monitor the storm.

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Western Tropical Atlantic

The tropical wave mentioned in the September 19 post is nearing the Windward Islands. It presently has a 90 percent chance of forming a tropical depression within a day or two as it enters the Caribbean Sea. Residents and other interests in the islands, Venezuela, Columbia, and the ABC island chain should expect heavy rainfall later this week. This could be the next system to move into the Gulf or Central America

Tropical East Central Atlantic

Another Tropical Wave west of the Cabo Verde Islands shows increasing signs of activity. The dry environment slows the development of this system, but additional organization is possible over the next five days as it moves west and later this week, northwest. Current chance of development is 30 percent over the next five days.

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Tropical East Atlantic

Another tropical wave will move off the coast of Africa on Thursday into conditions conducive for development. This system has a better chance of development than the East Central tropical wave mentioned above. Forecasters give this system a moderate chance of becoming a tropical depression over the weekend as it moves north and northwest between the coast and the Cabo Verde islands. The current chance of development is 50 percent over the next five days.