Meanwhile in the Tropics

Yes, we are tracking severe storms here in New England this evening.  We’ll continue to watch the threat of these storms slowly tracking to the east this evening, however it appears the threat for severe weather will lessen past 8pm tonight.  In the meantime, the main threats with these storms will be heavy rain and gusty/damaging wind.  Since many of you may not even read this weather blog until AFTER the storms have passed – I thought I should blog about something else that’s important to the weather-world today:

Meanwhile, in the tropics things are really heating up.  Tropical Storm Bret has formed and is now our 2nd named storm of the 2017 Hurricane Season.  As you may recall, the Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th – so we’re in it now.  T.S. Bret does not pose any threat to the U.S. whatsoever, but it is rare for a storm like this to form this early in the season – which may be a sign that this could prove to be an active hurricane season.  Here’s a look at the “cone of uncertainty” for Bret from the National Hurricane Center:

It’s not only T.S. Bret that we’re currently watching.  Move NW about 3,800 miles and you’ll find another area of concern.  This area of broad convection is being called “Potential Tropical Cyclone Three” which has an 80% chance of formation within 48 hours.  But what the heck is a “Potential Tropical Cyclone?”  Good question!  This is new!  One of the changes the NHC has made to its policy this year:  By calling a system a “Potential Tropical Cyclone,” with expected formation within 48 hours, it allows the NWS to start issuing tropical advisories/watches/warnings EARLY if deemed necessary.

From the NHC discussion:  “The NWS now has the option to issue advisories, watches, and warnings for disturbances that are not yet a tropical cyclone, but which pose the threat of bringing tropical storm or hurricane conditions to land areas within 48 hours. Under previous policy this was not possible.”

If this “Potential Tropical Cyclone” forms into a tropical storm, the name would be Cindy.  This system is taking advantage of some warm water in the Gulf of Mexico and is expected to continue to track toward the Gulf Coast bringing heavy rain and wind.  A Tropical Storm Warning and Tropical Storm Watch have already been posted for the coastline of Louisiana and Texas

A lot to watch in the next couple of days – and as it appears, could be a lot to watch as we head through this hurricane season.  For more information, be sure to visit:  http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/