Tropical Storm Erin formed in the eastern Atlantic yesterday. As it makes its slow trek across the ocean from its starting point southwest of Africa’s Cape Verde Islands, Erin is already reporting tropical storm force winds of around 40 miles per hour.
At the same time, Atlantic tropical storm watchers also have their eyes on a potential area of low pressure offshore the Yucatan Peninsula that has now moved into the southwestern Gulf of Mexico.
According to the National Hurricane Center’s 8 AM EDT time advisory, both possible trouble spots bear watching.
The Gulf of Mexico storm has a roughly 50 percent chance of developing into a tropical storm.
Erin, of course, is already there and just has to continue on its path west across the Atlantic.
The National Hurricane Center has provided a predicted path of Tropical Storm Erin. You experienced Atlantic storm season watchers already know to be cautious about using these maps.
But for the noobs out there, I’d like to remind you that a prediction is just a prediction. It can be wrong. Storms can turn. And Erin in particular may grow to be bigger than it currently shows on the NHC map.
At the moment, we simply don’t know if Erin will hit the eastern seaboard or turn away to become a so-called fish spinner that only puts shipping interests at risk.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs froms June 1 though November 30. Storms like late July’s Tropical Storm Dorian haven’t provided much excitement so far.
But we’re now entering the highest risk eight weeks that run from the last two weeks of August through the first two weeks of October.
It has already been an expensive year for natural disasters, with headline-grabbing weather events like the deadly Moore, Oklahoma tornado — which was shortly followed up by the killer El Reno, Oklahoma tornado that turned out to be the widest tornado of all time.
Most of you in the affected region probably already have your hurricane supplies in stock. But if you don’t, it’s time to get moving.
And tune in to your local weather station to make sure you know how Tropical Storm Erin might hit your area.