The official forecast track for Tropical Storm Karl shows it moving well to the northeast of the Leeward Islands as a hurricane. (Credit: NHC)
Tropical Storm Karl formed late Thursday night, the 11th named storm of the 2016 season.
The National Hurricane Center predicted it would become the season’s fifth hurricane by the middle of next week as it moves west to southwest followed by a turn to the west-northwest. On the forecast track, Karl would move well to the northeast of the Leeward Islands.
The morning runs of the GFS suggest that Karl will eventually turn north and then northeast in the Atlantic, posing no threat to the U.S. East Coast. A few members of the European (ECMWF) Ensemble still disagree and show a closer approach to the U.S. coast.
A tropical wave behind Karl, which was moving off the coast of Africa, had a 50 percent chance of becoming a depression, or Tropical Storm Lisa, over the next five days.
The GFS show sthis system potentially making it into the Caribbean.
Despite the busy look to the NHC Tropical Outlook map — there were five systems being tracked by forecasters on Friday — the new Colorado State University two-week forecast through Sept. 28 called for below-normal activity in the Atlantic.
Hurricane researcher Philip Klotzbach and company predicted that accumulated cyclone energy — a total of the strength and duration of all systems — would be at 70 percent of normal for this point in the season.
The depression that became Tropical Storm Karl “is the primary wild card in this two-week forecast. Several models like the GFS keep the storm very weak, generating little ACE, while the ECMWF intensifies it into a 960 mb hurricane in ten days,” Klotzbach said. “Obviously if the ECMWF forecast bears itself out, ACE could be much higher than forecast here.”
He also said forecast models show that the system pushing off the coast of Africa today “do not develop this system significantly.”
The hot and dry September that has gripped West Palm Beach continued Thursday with a steamy high of 91 — the ninth day with a temperature of 90 or better. Temperatures are running 1.7 degrees above average for the first half of the month, and the precipitation shortfall is up to 1.66 inches.
Miami is dealing with a 3.15-inch rainfall deficit while Fort Lauderdale’s September shortfall stands at 2.55 inches. Naples is down about a quarter of an inch.