The latest 2015 hurricane season predictions are eyeballing Tropical Storm Fred, even as it just formed west of Africa. The newly formed storm formation may be over a week out from Florida, but already the forecast claims “Hurricane” Fred’s path could see the storm trundling toward the United States while gaining strength.
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Erika has become completely broken up by the mountainous terrain of the Caribbean islands, but the remnants of the storm could still pose trouble for Florida through Tuesday due to the threat of flash floods.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, Hurricane Ignacio’s path through the Pacific Ocean has the storm threatening Hawaii.
The National Hurricane Center says Tropical Storm Fred already has maximum sustained winds of 65 miles-per-hour and it is currently tracking northwest over the Cape Verde Islands, which are west of Africa. Over the next several days, Hurricane Fred is expected to slow down a little as it enters the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and by Friday NOAA’s projections have Tropical Storm Fred becoming a tropical depression again.
Brian McNoldy of the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science notes that Tropical Storm Fred could be limited by the dry air in its path, but in the past there have been hurricanes which hit Florida after forming in this region. Of the 20 tropical cyclones, only two went on to become hurricanes, but two of those storms became major hurricanes.
“Fred is the second farthest east tropical storm formation in the records (back to 1851). If we look at all known tropical cyclones (which includes Depressions) that formed east of 19°W, there have only been 20. Fred was named at 18.4°W (in the best-track), and the only one further east was Ginger 1967 at 18.1°W. Note that two Florida landfalling storms had their origins this far east: Dora 1964 (Category 3 landfall near St. Augustine) and the 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane (Category 4 landfall near West Palm Beach).”
Based upon history, this 2015 hurricane season would likely see Hurricane Fred’s path reach Florida in approximately 10 to 12 days based upon the travel time from the coast of Africa to south Florida.
In the meantime, the leftovers of Tropical Storm Erika are just beginning to make their mark on south Florida. Rain is expected to be several inches in many areas through the Southeast, although The Weather Channel notes that it “is difficult to pinpoint exactly which locations will see the heaviest rainfall on any given day, but a general swath from the Florida peninsula to the coastal plain of the Carolinas may see heavy rainfall through the first half of the new week.” Some areas south of Orlando, Florida have already seen five-inches of rain, so it’s possible Erika could generate flash flooding in addition to thunderstorm wind gusts through Tuesday.
[Image via NASA]