Tropical Triple Threat Looming for Next Week
When the calendar flips over to August a lot of us who live in the Gulf South get a little antsy. August is when the tropical weather season really starts to heat up and get explosive. And when your house is less than 75 miles away from a potential landfall location along the coast you do tend to sleep, work, and watch with one eye on the Gulf of Mexico at all times.
August has spawned some of the most devastating storms in history. Just last year the Lake Charles I used to know was transformed into the Lake Charles we now see by this monster.
A few years further back in August of 1992 so many of us in the part of the state we call Acadiana were on our toes for this fellow. It's still hard to believe that this was the "A" storm of the '92 season.
And more on a personal note for me, if you wind the clock back to August of 1969 you'll meet this bad bitch. Yeah, I can use the "b" word to talk about Hurricane Camille. I was a very young boy at that time but this storm may be the reason I write and follow hurricane season so intently. I still have nightmares about how the wind sounded as this storm passed through my hometown.
But this is 2021 and the hurricane experts at NOAA, Colorado State, and just about any other weather guessing organization has told us to expect Mother Nature to once again be a dang overachiever. And looking at the Tropical Atlantic Basin this morning, she is doing just that.
According to the National Hurricane Center, there are not one, not two, but three potential tropical trouble spots that we will want to be aware of as we move into next week. Fortunately, all three of these systems are far away from a Louisiana landfall and even the Gulf of Mexico for that matter.
But where these systems are located fall right in line with the historical data for hurricanes at this time of year. What makes me nervous is a lot of the tracks from storms that have formed along these lower latitudes eventually cause a problem for the Gulf of Mexico. And once a storm is in the Gulf, they very seldom back out. They usually move forward and change many lives from the tip of South Texas all the way around to the Florida Keys.
Here's what I am talking about with the current storm prognostication.
As of now all of the systems do show a generally westward motion. The systems are being dragged along the southern edge of a subtropical ridge of high pressure. When I was growing up we just called it "the Bermuda High". That's because it is usually centered near the island of Bermuda. Its rotation will pull the systems to the west and in a best-case scenario will then pull them to the north before they arrive on the coast of the continental United States.
As of now, forecasters have given two of the systems only a 30% chance of strengthening into tropical cyclones, the third system, actually the one that is closer to the Windward Islands is only given a 10% chance to grow stronger over the next five days.
The general track guidance on these systems suggests a turn to the north before approaching the Florida Straits. That's that bit of open water between Florida and Cuba but let's face it, a strong tropical system can blow by any of the Caribbean Islands with maybe the exception of Cuba or Hispanola without suffering any ill effects.
No, these systems do not pose an imminent threat nor should you begin taking any specific actions as of this time. Now, that doesn't mean you should already have a hurricane kit ready and have discussed with your family what your storm plans would be should you need them. That's something that most of us do in late May at the beginning of the tropical season.
In the meantime, we will continue to keep an eye toward the south and dodge afternoon and early evening thunderstorms. That's our typical August modus operandi. But when you look back on where Hurricanes Laura, Andrew, and Camille were born it's easy to see why we look so uneasy.
Hurricane Game Plan, How We Get Ready at My House