Activity in the tropics has certainly picked up this past week. We currently have 4 storms in our general watch area - two in the eastern Pacific and two in the Atlantic. There is also Typhoon Fitow, a Level 1 typhoon heading towards Japan.
In the eastern Pacific:
In the Pacific, Gil is already a depression and with the cooler Pacific Ocean temperatures, I do not expect to see any further strengthening from this storm.
Henriette is another story. Currently a tropical storm, she is expected to strengthen to hurricane status by Sunday night and will probably strengthen to a Category 2 storm before interacting with Baja California. The current storm tracking predicts that Henriette will remain a hurricane as she moves along the western coast of the peninsula. Fortunately, the water temperatures drop rather rapidly the further north the storm travels so I expect to see this storm weaken quite a bit as it approaches the US Mexico border.
Currently most of the computer models predict the storm to cross into Arizona and then curve into New Mexico. Right now I don't know how much of a rainmaker this will be, the speed of the system once it is over land will determine just how much of an issue it will be.
In the Atlantic:
The Atlantic, by contrast is very warm providing much energy with which storms can form and strengthen. The two areas we are watching closely are Hurricane Felix in the Caribbean and a new tropical depression in the central Atlantic.
Felix has already grown to a major Category 3 storm and is heading right for the area where Dean hit full force just two weeks ago. Felix is expected to become a dangerous Cat 4 before coming ashore in Belize Wednesday morning. The current track for Felix has him travelling much further south than Dean did. As a result Felix will be passing very closely to or directly over Aruba. I understand Aruba very rarely gets hurricanes but this year is certainly an exception.
We will need to watch Felix closely for two reasons. One is due to the repeat landfall in Belize and on the Yucatan. Anyone in this area needs to evacuate per the instructions of the authorities. Secondly, what will he Felix do once he enters the Gulf of Mexico? So far all of the predictions show this storm going into northern Mexico but I've noticed a slight northward curve to the forecast track lately so we will have to watch to see if this storm is a threat to South Texas at all.
Finally, From the National Hurricane Center:
An Area Of Low Pressure...Associated With A Tropical Wave...Is Located About
Midway Between Africa And The Lesser Antilles. ThisSystem Is Expected To
Move Westward Near 10 Mph For The Next Day OrSo. The Associated Shower
Activity Is Limited And Upper-LevelWinds Are Unfavorable For Significant
Development At This Time. However...The Circulation Is Well-Defined And There Is
Still Some Potential For This System To Become A Tropical Depression DuringThe
Next Couple Of Days.
Right now winds are at 30 MPH with the potential for further development. Some of the computer models indicate that this system could head for the windward islands over the course of this week.