Tropical Trouble! Well, for #Japan. #Florence, blobofcloudsincaribbean no real threats

As the sun rises over the Atlantic, TV weathercasters and weather bloggers alike dither in glee as a storm off of Africa (its rains suitably blessed) forms to attracts viewers that would otherwise be enjoying their Labor Day weekend, such that said viewers may be convinced they really need a lawyer to get money to spend on guns … hmmm.  Maybe that’s what Warren Zevon meant.  And,  yes, that’s a two-fer of 1980’s hit song references!

The system passing over the Cape Verde islands didn’t form as rapidly as the models indicated, but did pull together enough for NHC to name it overnight as Tropical Storm Florence.  It’s a minimum tropical storm, although it should strengthen a bit the current forecast does not show it becoming a hurricane as it heads out into the middle of the Atlantic …

I’ve seen a few sources getting excited about long range models showing more storms spinning up over the next few weeks.  Don’t pay any attention to that.  Yes, conditions are forecast to be more favorable over the next month than previously.  BUT: that’s climatology at work – September is the peak month for storms.  These models have very little demonstrated skill at this sort of thing.  Take a look at Florence – just two days ago it was forecast to become a major hurricane by multiple models.  This morning?  Not so much.  Tropical Cyclone formation and intensity changes are still a big area of research; scaring the public with these iffy forecasts isn’t responsible.

There is a tropical system (tropical meaning hot, sticky air) moving towards Florida this weekend, then into the Gulf.  NHC has it as a low (20%) chance of forming a storm if and when it makes it that far.  Here’s a really cool visual band image from this morning, taken by the NPP VIIRS sensor, showing the system, lit up by the light of the moon (which is just past full).  Nice to see some lights on in the still recovering Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.  This system might bring a lot of rain to Florida on Monday or Tuesday.

Of much more concern than either of these two systems is Typhoon Jebi.  Currently a “Super Typhoon”, it should begin a turn to the north and weakening today. It is forecast to hit Japan early next week as a Category 2 storm, although as JTWC says, confidence is low as to the exact track and intensity.  Even if weaker, it likely will dump more rain across central Japan, and area that has seen devastating floods this year.  This is potentially a bad situation …


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