Although the 2016 Atlantic tropical season doesn't officially kick off until next Wednesday (June 1st), we've already had one (very rare) tropical storm form last January, and the National Hurricane Center is watching an area off the Southeastern United States they give a 70% chance of becoming the second named storm of the year over the weekend.
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SPECIAL TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
825 AM EDT THU MAY 26 2016
For the North Atlantic...Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico:
1. A low pressure area centered between Bermuda and the Bahamas is gradually becoming better defined while shower activity is increasing. Environmental conditions are expected to become more conducive for tropical or subtropical cyclone formation on Friday while the system moves west-northwestward or northwestward toward the southeastern United States coast.
With the Memorial Day weekend approaching, all interests along the southeast coast from Georgia through North Carolina should monitor the progress of this low.
An Air Force reconnaissance plane will be scheduled to investigate this low on Friday. The next Special Tropical Weather Outlook on this disturbance will be issued by 3 PM EDT today. For additional information on this system, see High Seas Forecasts issued by the
National Weather Service.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...medium...50 percent
* Formation chance through 5 days...high...70 percent
With the end of El Nino in the Pacific, the odds for seeing more Atlantic tropical storms tends to increase. While there are other factors at play (sea surface temps, the Saharan dust level, and wind shear, to name a few), a neutral or La Nina cycle can portend more risk.
If this low turns into a named storm, she will be named Bonnie.
While Bonnie is unlikely to turn into anything more than a tropical storm, now is an excellent time for all interests along the Atlantic or Gulf coast to review their hurricane and severe weather preparedness plans.
For details on how to go about that, you may wish to revisit Sunday's blog: Hurricane Preparedness 2016