Tropical Depression 12 bears watching for U.S. East Coast

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The Tropical Weather Outlook map for the Atlantic looks busy busy busy — but pretty ho-hum on closer inspection. (Image credit: NHC)

With four areas of interest on the Big Map, you might suppose staff at the National Hurricane Center in Miami are going through multiple pots of strong coffee, racing to keep up. Maybe they are, but breaking these individual systems down, there’s really not much here to keep folks on the East Coast up at night.

There are only two named systems floating around the Atlantic and both of them are likely on their way out.

Tropical Depression Julia, loitering off the coast of South Carolina, never was much to squawk about, although it dropped a few inches of rain in Central and North Florida earlier this week. Julia does lay claim to being the only tropical storm to form inland over Florida — just west of St. Augustine — in the state’s history.

And it did gobble up a name in the 2016 Hurricane Season directory, but it’s a system that the late William Gray of Colorado State University would call an “el cheapo” according to the NHC’s Eric Blake.

As an invest off South Florida’s coast on Monday, it looked rather menacing, but only a half-inch of rain fell at Palm Beach International Airport Monday and Tuesday. Palm Beach posted 0.54 of an inch.

A couple of forecast models are predicting re-intensification now that Julia is back out over water. But “it appears unlikely that the cyclone will survive long enough to take advantage of the possibly more favorable environment,” NHC forecaster Jack Bevin said today. The official forecast calls for dissipation.

Tropical Storm Ian is likely to become extra-tropical by late Friday as it hurries off to the northeast. The system never was a threat to land.

That little yellow “X” off the coast of Texas in the Gulf of Mexico doesn’t appear to be much of a troublemaker either, with just a 10 percent chance of tropical development as it heads west.

The only question mark for South Florida over the coming week will be Tropical Depression 12, which is in the far eastern Atlantic but is moving west and could ultimately impact the Lesser Antilles.

Its journey will be problematic, since it will be running into wind shear and dry air and could in fact dissipate. But forecast models suggest that it could swipe the islands, and that would put it in a position that historically requires some attention from residents in the Bahamas and the U.S. East Coast.

At Weather Underground, hurricane expert Jeff Masters noted today: “While most of the 50 members of the European model ensemble show TD 12 eventually recurving out to sea without affecting any land areas, 6 out of 50 of the forecasts show the storm hitting the U.S. East Coast 10+ days from now, so it is too early to assume that TD 12 will be a ‘fish’ storm.”

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Forecast tracks for Tropical Depression 12 show it nearing the Lesser Antilles. (Credit: SFWMD)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Author: jnelander

Freelance writer and editor

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