Disturbance AL95 could become a tropical cyclone later this Tuesday

Disturbance AL95 could become a tropical cyclone later this Tuesday

The tropical wave identified as the suspected cyclonic zone AL95, this Tuesday dawned more organized and with an extension in its area of ​​heavy downpours with thunderstorms, so as soon as this Tuesday afternoon it could become a tropical cyclone.

In fact, the National Hurricane Center (NHC, in English) raised to 100% the probability of development of this system in the next two to seven days and anticipated, in its recent report on the outlook for conditions in the tropics, that it could start bulletins associated with this phenomenon as of this afternoon.

“If current trends continue, warnings would be issued later today for a tropical cyclone moving west-northwest at 15 to 20 miles per hour (mph) across the center of the tropical Atlantic,” the agency said. .

According to satellite images, The system already shows signs of circulation around its low pressure centerbut this circulation is not closed and its wind speed does not reach 35 mph either, two elements that mark the threshold for classifying it as a tropical depression.

It is possible that the tropical wave will become a tropical depression during the next few hours, although it could go directly from being a tropical wave to a tropical storm, in which case it would be named Lee.

Once it reaches tropical cyclone characteristics, the system will become the 13th cyclone to develop in the Atlantic basin so far this year.

Besides, this system is likely to become the fourth hurricane of the year by the end of this weekbecause it will find all the favorable environmental conditions for a continuous intensification process, judging by the projections of the main global and regional models.

The NHC supports this analysis, while stating in its report that the intensification of the future Lee from a storm to a hurricane would occur when the phenomenon moves over “sectors of the western tropical Atlantic, near or northeast of the Leeward Islands.” ”.

What move should this system take?

Since leaving Africa, this system has been moving generally westward and west-northwestward, and should continue to do so in the coming days. However, this movement is subject to intensification, since as it strengthens, the phenomenon could have a movement with a component more towards the north, so it would move directly towards the west-northwest.

Graph showing the forecast of the main models with respect to the trajectory of the tropical wave identified as AL95. Image created in the early morning of September 5, 2023. (NCAR)

Precisely, that is the scenario projected, for the moment, by the main global and regional models that suggest that it will pass to the northeast of the Caribbean at the end of this week. If this scenario occurs, Puerto Rico would be free from the threat of the direct impact of this future hurricane, but the proximity of the phenomenon would, in any case, imply indirect impacts such as deteriorated waves, gusty winds with storm intensity and increased rainfall.

The forecast regarding the trajectory of this system remains imprecise, but should improve once it becomes a tropical cyclone and approaches what would be its closest point to the area.

Furthermore, uncertainty would be reduced to the extent that reconnaissance flights are initiated by hurricane hunter aircraft that can take direct data that are added to the model runs. So far, all projections are based on satellite estimates, which entails wide margins of error.

In the hurricane hunter aircraft agenda, the NHC stipulated that there is the possibility of assigning a reconnaissance flight for next Thursday at around 7:30 p.m.

What to expect from this system in Puerto Rico?

At the moment, it is not responsible to propose a single scenario for the island with the information available at the moment and given the imprecision of the forecast.

However, regardless of the movement of this phenomenon and its intensity, the models have remained consistent in suggesting an increase in humidity during the upcoming weekend in the local area. Therefore, the island is likely to experience a period of unsettled weather with shower and thunderstorm activity beginning Saturday and potentially into Tuesday of next week as the future hurricane’s moisture field affects the area. local.

The day of showers could be accompanied by thunderstorms and gusty winds with tropical storm intensity (at or above 40 mph).

Graph showing the forecast of the main models with respect to the intensity of the tropical wave identified as AL95.  Image created in the early morning of September 5, 2023.
Graph showing the forecast of the main models with respect to the intensity of the tropical wave identified as AL95. Image created in the early morning of September 5, 2023. (NCAR)

Additionally, waves in local waters exposed to the Atlantic Ocean could deteriorate as the phenomenon passes close to the area. The impact on coastal and maritime conditions could be significant, because the models suggest that the phenomenon would pass as a hurricane between categories 2 to 3 in the Saffir-Simpson wind scaleso the energy associated with the system would result in strong waves in the region.

Remember that you should not consume information from unreliable sources (especially on social networks) that propose a unique scenario for Puerto Rico in relation to this phenomenon, because no scenario is certain. This factor is important, since some models simulate the worst scenario of an atmospheric phenomenon and any misinterpretation or visualization of these images without proper analysis can generate despair.

Follow official sources of information such as National Hurricane Center and the National Weather Service (SNM) in San Juan. Additionally, you will find all the details you need in the The Time of The New Day.

Carlos Tolentino Rosario is a journalist who covers weather, climate change and science, among others. He holds a certification in weather forecasting from the Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences at Pennsylvania State University (PSU). He is also a member of the American Meteorological Society (AMS).

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