That area of disturbed weather tropical forecasters had been keeping an eye on last week finally got strong enough to earn a name. That name is Gert.  Late Sunday afternoon officials with the National Hurricane Center verified that the system had met the criteria to reach tropical storm status. That's the bad news. The good news is that Gert appears to be an ocean storm. It should not affect any land mass at all.

The forecast track for Gert suggests that the center of circulation will pass well to the east of the United States and well to the west of the island nation of Bermuda. The storm is expected to reach hurricane status during the day on Wednesday.

Further to the east off of the coast of Africa forecasters are monitoring another tropical wave that is showing signs of strengthening. This wave is at least a week a way from being anywhere close to the outer islands of the Caribbean. However, it is forecast to move in a general west to west-northwest motion and by this weekend could be a concern for the Leeward Islands.

Should this tropical wave strengthen to tropical storm status it could earn the name Harvey. That is assuming that no other system spins up before this system has a chance to strengthen. We are at that time of the season when sea surface temperatures are warm enough to support tropical formation just about anywhere in the tropical Atlantic basin.

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