This is the right time for the tropics to heat up and boy are they doing just that. We typically see tropical cyclone develop ramp up in the middle of August as we approach the peak of hurricane season in the middle of September.
We currently have three entities that we are watching closely over the next couple of weeks. The first highlighted area is a Tropical Storm Fiona is weak, but still churns out in the middle of the Atlantic for now. South of Fiona comes an area of low pressure that may have the best chance to affect the United States and just emerging off the coast of Africa we have another large area of low pressure.
Below is the official NHC forecast for Fiona (Top) and the spaghetti computer plots (multi-colored lines) for the area of low pressure just south of Fiona. While both could still have impacts on the the lower 48, the southern entity may pose more of a threat as Fiona should curve back out to sea as it moves between the United States and Bermuda.
The current computer forecast takes this low over the Lesser Antilles and then from there questions arise. If the track stays over the likes of Hispaniola, the storm will have no chance to materialize as the mountainous terrain will tear it up. If it stays north and makes run toward the Bahamas it will have a chance to strengthen.
If you have plans to head to the east coast beaches, the Gulf, or the Caribbean you’ll want to keep a close eye on these storms. The storm coming off the coast of Africa will likely develop faster than the area low pressure closer to Fiona as the entity is encountering wind and dry air, two things tropical systems don’t like. With that said it looks like that storm just pushing off of Africa has plans to stay out to sea. The computer forecast tracks of both tropical waves are shown below. The one closer to the United States at this point looks to be the one that bears the most watching, but we have our eyes on everything.
The next two names up for 2016 are Gaston and Hermine if one or both were to reach tropical storm strength.