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Three New Tropical Systems Form in Past 24 Hours; Greek Alphabet Invoked
By Meteorologist Megan Borowski on September 18, 2020 3:00 pm

Two new tropical storms and a new tropical depression have formed in the past 24 hours, joining Major Hurricane Teddy in an already historic hurricane season.

Hurricane Teddy is the strongest of the current storms, a Category 4 hurricane, and is located over the open waters of the Central Atlantic. It is forecast to track northwestward this weekend before being deflected due north by a frontal system exiting the United States. Teddy is expected to near Bermuda early next week, and could deliver another round of heavy rain and storm surge to the island that was impacted by Category 1 Hurricane Paulette on September 14. Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center say that Teddy could still be a hurricane toward the middle of next week as it approaches Nova Scotia.

WINDS
125 MPH
PRESSURE
951 MB
MOVING
NW AT 14 MPH

Tropical Storm Wilfred, the last storm name from the Latin alphabet, formed in the eastern Atlantic on Friday morning. Wilfred will likely not exhibit too much additional strengthening as moves westward over the weekend. By early next week, forecasters at the National Hurricane Center say that Wilfred will likely degenerate into a remnant low.

Tropical Storm Wilfred, the last storm name from the Latin alphabet, formed in the eastern Atlantic on Friday morning. Wilfred will likely not exhibit much additional strengthening as moves westward this the weekend. By early next week, forecasters at the National Hurricane Center say that Wilfred will likely degenerate into a remnant low.

Tropical Depression Twenty-Two has the nearest proximity to the United States: On Friday morning it was located over the western Gulf of Mexico, about 250 miles southeast of the Texas and Mexico border. This system has exhibited signs of organization, and forecasters expect it to strengthen into a tropical storm late Friday or early Saturday. Once this occurs, it will acquire a name Beta.

WINDS
40 MPH
PRESSURE
1004 MB
MOVING
NNE AT 9 MPH
KEY MESSAGES
ALERTS
HAZARDS
SUMMARY
DISCUSSION

1. Beta is expected to strengthen and possibly become a hurricane, while moving slowly over the western Gulf of Mexico during the next few days.

2. There is an increasing risk of heavy rainfall and flooding along the northwest Gulf Coast Sunday through at least the middle of next week as Beta is forecast to move slowly toward and along or offshore of the coast through that time. For additional information, see products from your local National Weather Service office.

3. While it is too early to determine what areas could see directwind and storm surge impacts from Beta, interests throughoutthe western Gulf of Mexico should monitor the progress of thissystem and future updates to the forecast. Storm Surge and Tropical Storm or Hurricane watches could be issued tonight or Saturday.


Interests along the western Gulf of Mexico coast should monitor the progress of Beta. Storm Surge and Tropical Storm or Hurricane Watches will likely be required for portions of the western Gulf coast tonight or on Saturday.


SURF: Swells are expected to increase and reach the coast of Texas and the Gulf Coast of Mexico over the weekend, generated by a combination of Beta and a cold front entering the northern Gulf of Mexico. These swells are likely to cause lifethreatening surf and rip current conditions. Please consult products from your local weather office.


At 400 PM CDT (2100 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Beta was located near latitude 24.3 North, longitude 93.1 West. Beta is moving toward the northnortheast near 9 mph (15 km/h), and this general motion is expected through Saturday. A slow westward motion is forecast to begin late Saturday or Saturday night, and this motion will likely continue into early next week. On the forecast track, the center of Beta will approach western coast of the Gulf of Mexico Sunday night and Monday.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts. Additional slow strengthening is expected through the weekend, and Beta could be near hurricane strength Sunday or Sunday night.

Tropicalstormforce winds extend outward up to 105 miles (165 km) from the center.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 1004 mb (29.65 inches).


Satellite imagery indicates that the circulation of Tropical Depression 22 has become better defined, and most objective and subjective satellite intensity estimates are now 35 kt. Based on this, along with 33 kt 1-mi average winds from NOAA buoy 42002, the depression is upgraded to Tropical Storm Beta with an initial intensity of 35 kt. Although the system is now a tropical storm, satellite imagery shows that the convective pattern is becoming elongated due to the effects of southwesterly vertical wind shear.Visible imagery and scatterometer data showed that the center of Beta was a bit farther east than previously thought, and the initial motion is a somewhat uncertain 025/8. This motion should continue for the next 12-24 h as the storm is steered by a mid- to upper-level trough over Texas and northeastern Mexico. After that time, the trough should weaken and lift out to the northeast, with a mid-level ridge building to the north of the cyclone above an already present low-level ridge. This ridge should act as a Beta blocker, causing the storm to turn westward toward the western Gulf coast. Between 72-120 h, the mid-level ridge weakens as another mid-latitude trough moves through the central United States, and this is expected to cause the storm to slowly recurve toward the northeast. One change in the track guidance since the previous forecast is that the GFS and ECMWF are a bit faster on the westward motion and show the center near the Texas coast in about 72 h. The latter part of the new track forecast also shifts westward, but it is still to the east of the GFS/ECMWF. There is also a chance that Beta could move more northward than forecast before the trough lifts out, which adds an additional touch of uncertainty to the track forecast. So, it is critical that users not focus on the exact forecast track, especially at days 3 to 5.The global models suggest that the current shear may decrease a little after 24 h when the upper-level trough moves away from Beta. However, there is a chance of at least some dry air entrainment that would hamper strengthening. The intensity guidance for the most part continues to forecast Beta to reach a peak intensity below hurricane strength, although the latest SHIPS model forecasts a peak intensity near 65 kt. The new intensity forecast is again unchanged in making Beta a hurricane at 60 and 72 h, and it lies at the upper edge of the intensity guidance.

Subtropical Storm Alpha also formed on Friday and was located off the coast of Portugal during the early afternoon. This marks the first time since 2005, and only the second time in history, that the Greek alphabet has been employed to name storms. Alpha will likely be a short-lived system, but is expected to douse Portugal with heavy rain and create rough seas.

Regardless of when or if Tropical Depression Twenty-Two intensifies, the system is expected to remain over the western Gulf of Mexico through at least the middle of next week. After that, remnant moisture and energy from the system could track toward the Central or Eastern Gulf Coast, including Florida's Gulf Coast. Should this occur, rain chances will likely increase and dangerous surf could develop at the beaches. Interests in these areas should follow the forecast closely in the coming week.

GIF
RADAR
SATRAD
TEMPS
WINDS
FUTURE
DAY 1
DAY 2
TROPICS
7-DAY FORECAST
7-DAY
HOURLY PLANNER
HOURLY
Location of current data...
DAY 0
TODAY
Chance of Showers and Thunderstorms
AM: 
56
74º
30%
DAY 1
DAY 1
Chance of Showers and Thunderstorms
AM: 
56
74º
30%
DAY 2
DAY 2
Chance of Showers and Thunderstorms
AM: 
56
74º
30%
DAY 3
DAY 3
Chance of Showers and Thunderstorms
AM: 
56
74º
30%
DAY 4
DAY 4
Chance of Showers and Thunderstorms
AM: 
56
74º
30%
DAY 5
DAY 5
Chance of Showers and Thunderstorms
AM: 
56
74º
30%
DAY 6
DAY 5
Chance of Showers and Thunderstorms
AM: 
56
74º
30%
  • NOW
    74º
    SE 12 mph
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    2:00 PM
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  • NOW
    74º
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    76º
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    74º
    SE 12 mph
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    1:00 PM
    76º
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    75º
    SE 8 mph
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