Currently in the Atlantic — September 15th, 2022

by Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz

The first significant threat to land since early July!

After a nearly two-month lull, the tropics started becoming active early this month. But Danielle and Earl were basically "fish storms" (only harming the fish) and were never a threat to the Caribbean, Bahamas, Central America, or the U.S. Now, with "Fiona" developing (as of this writing), the first land threat includes the Leeward Islands (Virgin Islands to Dominica), Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti.

First, let's talk about potential intensification. Conditions have been quite unfavorable for even minimal development in the Atlantic so far this season, so they're not going to "about-face" immediately. That's why the intensity forecasts are for slow strengthening at most.

Agreement on little or no intensification-for DAYS

If you're at all familiar with the above graphics, you'll know how rare it is to have very good model agreement out to 72 hours. Ocean temps are plenty warm enough, but other factors should limit intensification (in the short term).

Now, for the future track (see below). This is a combo of "Global and Hurricane Models" from the "Master of Maps", Levi Cowan and Tropical Tidbits (if you don't use this site every day for every kind of weather, you're not really a weather fanatic).

Straight west track, then ?????

Notice the basically unanimous forecast of a track directly toward Puerto Rico over the next 3-4 days. That's not very far. The storm will clearly slow down due to weaker steering currents ahead.

These are just a few of the possible computer model tracks (operational, ensemble, consensus, etc.) that Tropical Tidbits can show. Here is his full list: https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/data/nhc_model_list.txt (cut and paste the URL).

We'll go into model forecasting of the tropics as the month continues. And going beyond 5 days is a venture for amateurs or those interested in "clickbait". We'll have only general discussions and trends beyond that time on these pages.

Each storm that threatens land has different potential and level of threats. In this case, my main concern is the coming slowdown combined with the mountainous terrain ahead. Slow movement + high terrain + extra water vapor from climate warming= serious flood potential if the storm gets bigger.

As far as any eventual U.S. threat, the chances go down from an average September since the storm will be moving so slowly by the weekend. It's easier to get "picked up" and curve northward if it stays out there long enough. But upper-air patterns can change a lot in a week.

Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz   thehurricaneschwartz@gmail.com

What you need to know, currently.

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