Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Tropical activity on a fast rise

I've been on the road this week and haven't had a chance to look at the tropical weather in a few days. This morning I see that activity has increased drastically across the planet.

In Taiwan, . 6 people were killed by Tropical Storm Kalmaegi (CNN). The storm came ashore Friday and hit Taiwan with heavy rain and flooding. The eye of the storm has moved off the island but heavy rains and the potential for flooding is still present. The storm is expected to hit southeast China this evening or tonight prompting concerns of more flooding in these regions. Then it is expected to take a sharp right turn and head over the Korean Peninsula.

In the Eastern Pacific, two tropical storms are churning away. Elida, after having reached a category 2 hurricane status, has dropped in intensity down to a tropical storm and Tropical Storm Fausto is just below hurricane strength with 70 mph sustained winds. The National Hurricane Center is expected a slight increase in intensity before Fausto degrades. Both of these storms are heading to the west-northwest and pose no direct danger other than possibly high tides along the Central American and Mexican coasts.

In the Atlantic, things have really picked up. Tropical Storm Bertha refuses to due and is still churning away in the North Atlantic. Bertha is expected to maintain tropical storm force winds and continue to head northeast toward Greenland and Iceland.

Closer to home we have three systems that require watching. A low pressure system just off the cost of Florida has little chance for organizing but will likely bring rain to northern Florida and southern Georgia this weekend. AccuWeather is forecasting that this low will skirt up the coast into the Carolinas but will not move inland towards north Georgia to improve on the drought.

And in the Caribbean, two tropical waves are moving westward and bear watching but are not very likely to develop further due to their proximity to land.
The AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center reports two tropical waves in the Caribbean Sea are being monitored for potential development. The waves are moving westward through an area of the eastern Caribbean where there is warm water and little wind shear. One tropical wave currently located just north of Venezuela will continue traveling to the west today before turning to the northwest on Friday. The close proximity to South America and a forward speed of 20 to 25 mph will reduce the potential of the wave becoming a tropical depression. However, there will be an increased potential for development as the wave curves to the northwest over open waters. Another wave in the western Caribbean has a much smaller window of opportunity to become a tropical depression before it moves over Central America later today. The wave later
today will bring heavy rain to Nicaragua and Honduras before spreading across Central America on Friday and Saturday. The rain could spark life-threatening flash floods and mudslides, especially in the higher terrain.

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